It is one of the two late standard issues of Gurkhas (“Service Ceremonial” being the other one) that came in production from mid 1980’s. It is actually the better version or format of the “GI5” that was initiated by Til Bahadur Bishwakarma (TB BK) after he retired, to better the quality and standard of the issue khukuri given to the British Gurkhas then. It is closely associated to the Gurkhas and a favored version by the Gurkhas themselves because of its better look and feature compared to its older counter part the GI5. Shiny aspect, better finishing, better shape and smarter look of the khukuri perfectly blended with the tidiness and image of the Gurkhas and soon it came into limelight whose legacy still continues to date. It is also the most famous and common khukri in the local khukuri market sold almost everywhere by everybody.
Service No.1 is identical to GI5 except for its well polished blade and handle and its shape that is slightly modified, in fact bettered. With GI5 soldiers had to literally polish the blade with whatever local resources available and thus had to put a lot of time and effort to achieve the objective or the army’s high standard. But with the Service No.1, its already polished (inbuilt) format, not only saved time and energy but it brought tidiness and uniformity to the khukuri and uniform as a whole. Since a standard issue from 1950’s onwards is typically a parade knife, need for a shiny and smart kukri knife was must for which now soldiers did not have to worry with the Service No.1. However the soldiers still had to work on the buffalo hide leather scabbard of the khukuri to make it shiny thus most replaced by patent leather from local workshops.
Late 1980’s witnessed huge production of Service No.1 for military standards. Even more production was seen in the local market to meet the ever increasing demand for a standard issue “high quality” Gurkha knife. TB BK’s noble action to shine the khukuri and to better the shape won the hearts of selectors and even of the users. The khukuri then instantly stormed the military and public demand whose copy is still being used today and whose production still continues in thousands respectively.
From the formation of 1st Gurkha unit in 1814 to the Great Indian Mutiny in 1857 to the Great War in 1914-18 to 2nd world war in 1944-45 to Borneo Confrontation in 1962-66 to Falklands war in 1982 Gurkhas have been issued with a number of khukuris amongst which Service No.1 is probably the most famous of all because its a modern day issue with very close ties with Gurkhas militarily and emotionally, iconic fate to represent the Gurkhas and above all Gurkhas irrefutable faith and an acute bond to the this incredible Khukuri.
Besides Service no.1’s military and historic significance, it is still a hardcore utility kukri knife that would not disappoint a hard user. Its perfect size and range, well balanced weight, smart finishing and effective feature make it an ideal knife to use for just about anything that requires cutting. It is also THE knife for collection and for a gift since its inseparable bond with the Gurkhas and their image is extraordinary, momentous, commendable, unique, exemplarily and encouraging.