Online Collection

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Kukri scabbard, Gurkha Rifles, 1916

Wood and leather scabbard.

The kukri, with its recurved blade, is an iconic weapon synonymous with the Gurkhas of Nepal.

Most kukris and scabbards are usually quite plain but presentation weapons can be highly decorated. The kukri is often accompanied by two smaller knives designed for less warlike activities. The 'karda' for cutting and skinning and the 'chakmak' for sharpening blades. For Gurkhas serving with the British Army, the kukri became a service issue weapon alongside the bayonet.

Around 100,000 Gurkhas fought in World War One (1914-1918). Gurkha battalions served at Neuve Chapelle, Loos, Givenchy and Ypres on the Western Front, and in Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine and Gallipoli against the Turks. Gurkha regiments received hundreds of gallantry awards, including three Victoria Crosses. They also suffered over 20,000 casualties.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1986-03-27-2


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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