Last modified: 2010-12-29 by rob raeside
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7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles - Pipe banner
The swallow tail bannerette is rifle green fringed silver. It shows two crossed kukris topped by a number Seven, the cypher(?) of the duke, and a crown, all in white. The weapons have black hilts.
Source: I spotted this flag on 2 May 2007 in the restaurant "Gurkha Knight" near Kempsey Common, Worcester
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 November 2010
The crown is the cornet of the Duke of Edinburgh, and the cypher is that of
the current duke. The duchy is a royal title, currently Prince Philip, the
consort of Queen Elizabeth. Personal cyphers surmounted by the appropriate crown
are a common device in British Army badges. This one was granted 1 Jan 1959 to
the 7th Gurkha Rifles in recognition of their distinguished service in the
Second World War and for their unique association with the British Crown.
The banner should be a much darker green ("rifle green"), but this specimen may have faded. It is a "pipe banner". A regiment's bagpipers typically have an assortment of banners attached to their pipes, either regimental in design (like this one) or an award commemorating a special event, person or achievement.
The 7th Gurkha Rifles were formed in 1902 in the Indian Army from Nepali Gurkha volunteers under the special British recruiting arrangement with Nepal. At Indian independence in 1947, six of the ten Gurkha regiments remained in the Indian Army, while four (2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th) transferred to the British Army. In 1994 these four regiments merged to form The Royal Gurkha Rifles. I believe pipes banners of the current regiment include specimens representing the four predecessor regiments.
T.F. Mills, 15 November 2010
Here is a sample of the color:
http://www.militaryheritage.com/wool.htm (upper left of the colour
swatches). Here are two photos of actual Gurkha pipe banners (both with a field
of rifle green):
T.F. Mills, 16 November 2010