History of Garhwal Rifle



Balbhadra Singh Negi was second of the three sons of a poor peasant in village Haida Kholi, near Satpuli, Pauri Garhwal. With no education coupled with abject poverty, he made his way to Najibabad where he joined a caravan of the British returning from Nepal with raw recruits. They were marching to Abbotabad — their Centre. Balbhadra joined them. He got enrolled & after an illustrious career, fighting in Peiwar Kotal, Charasia, Kandahar & Kabul, earning the IOM & OBI in the Second` Afghan War, he retired after serving as the ADC to the C-in-C Lord Roberts & later as the Viceroy’s ADC at Calcutta. He was granted 1600 bighas of land in Ghosi Khatta at Kotdwar. When Garhwal Rifles was raised in 1887, his son Amar Singh was granted direct VCO; his uniform & sword was presented to him at his home in Kotdwar with instructions to join duty at Lansdowne. During the Burma War, Amar Singh was seriously wounded. His father received a telegram: “Your son seriously wounded.” Balbhadra Singh Negi sent this reply: “If he is of any service to the Government, keep him, else shoot him.” In the return mail he wrote to his son: “Don’t worry. If you come out alive you will earn fame. If you die, you will still earn fame”.


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