This year marks 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown. Military historian Hew Strachan reflects on this special relationship and the future of this crack fighting force.
Shortly before the devastating earthquakes shook Nepal, he attended Gurkha 200 celebrations in Kathmandu and Dharan. He travelled to Gorkha, where the Gurkha story begins, and Pokhara, the centre of British Gurkha recruitment today and headquarters of the Gurkha Welfare Scheme that helps Gurkha pensioners across Nepal.
His conversations with serving and retired Gurkhas - both in Nepal and back in Britain - reveal a relationship with a rich history.
Today's Gurkhas form a warm, closely-knit and adaptable military community. But will Britain continue recruiting Gurkhas? Will Nepalis still want to join the British army?
Contributors include: Joanna Lumley, Vice Patron, Gurkha Welfare Trust;
Lt Colonel John Cross, WW2 veteran, jungle warfare expert and Nepali citizen;
Captain Rambahadur Limbu VC;
Major Maniprasad Rai, one of the first Gurkha commissioned officers;
Major Tikendra Dewan, President, British Gurkha Welfare Society;
Field Marshal Sir John Chapple;
General Sir Peter Wall, Colonel Commandant, Brigade of Gurkhas and Chairman, Gurkha Welfare Trust;
David Gellner, Professor of Social Anthropology, Oxford University.
The presenter, Professor Sir Hew Strachan, is formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford, and now Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews.
Producer: Catriona Oliphant
Executive Producer: Mukti Jain Campion
A ChromeRadio production for BBC Radio 4.