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The Gurkha Diaries of Robert Atkins MC (Kindle)

India and Malaya 1944 - 1958


By Robert Atkins, Foreword by Sir Peter Duffell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 11.4 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 152
ISBN: 9781399091473
eBook Released: 21st October 2021


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How fortunate it is that Robert Atkins wrote up his experiences as a young Gurkha officer in India and later Malaya as, seventy years on, they form an important contemporaneous record of two historically significant periods.

When India was granted Independence in 1947, irreconcilable religious differences made Partition inevitable. His account of the death, destruction and suffering that he and his soldiers witnessed makes for traumatic yet compelling reading.

In the aftermath of Independence the Gurkha Regiments were split between the Indian and British Armies and Robert returned to England and British service.

Three years later on his way to fight in the Korean War, he was ordered to join 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles engaged in the battle against communist terrorists, known as the Malayan Emergency. Robert saw more than his share of action over next seven years in this eventually successful but bitterly fought campaign. His courage and leadership earned him the Military Cross.

The two diaries are introduced with helpful narratives setting each in their historical context.

Written with admirable modesty, this superb personal account informs and entertains.

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About Robert Atkins

Robert Atkins and his twin brother, Geoffrey, were born in 1927 in India where their father was serving with the Punjab Regiment. Both were educated at Rugby School.

Commissioned into the 8th Gurkha Rifles in 1944, Robert’s diary records his involvement during Indian Partition. After Independence, he returned to England joining a British regiment.

In 1950 he joined the 6th Gurkha Rifles in Malaya and spent the next eight years fighting Communist terrorists, earning the Military Cross.

Two years after marrying Anabel in 1956, Robert retired from the Army and they moved back to England, settling in Kent.

A successful career in international commercial property followed. Robert finally retired aged 83.

Robert and Anabel have two daughters, Celestine and Vicky. A former Army Boxing champion, he has pursued an active lifestyle, with many friends and interests, notably gardening and art.

Sir Peter Duffell

About Sir Peter Duffell

Lieutenant General Sir Peter Duffell KBE CBE MC was commissioned into the 2nd Gurkha Rifles in 1960. As a young company commander, he was awarded the Military Cross leading his Gurkhas in clandestine operations against Indonesia in the 60s. As the General Commanding British Forces in Hong Kong between 1989 and 1992 he served there during a challenging period for the Territory, before becoming the British Army’s Inspector General. On retirement he worked for 20 years for an American company in London, New York, Beijing and Moscow. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a Trustee of the Foyle Foundation, which supports the Arts. For several years he was a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has lectured widely on the Gurkha soldier and Hong Kong.

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