Brigadier-General Edward Harry Dyer CB

Infamous British soldier known as the Butcher of Amritsar, directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of unarmed civilians in the Jallianwalla Bagh city park on 13th April 1919. Numbers of reported deaths range between 379 to over 1000, and the injured numbered up to 1,200. Dyer was in charge of Indian troops and Gurkhas, and determined to disperse a crowd gathered in defiance of a curfew. He was boiling with rage since a mob had attacked and beaten a British schoolteacher, Miss Marcella Sherwood, in the street a few days before. Dyers actions had wide-ranging repercussions and certainly hastened the end of the British Empire in the Indian subcontinent. Gandhi was greatly affected by the massacre. The British administration tried to calm the situation by relieving Dyer of his command, and he was told to resign by General Sir Charles Munro, the Commander-in-Chief in India. Dyer was a British Indian through and through. He was born in Murree on 9th Oct 1864 and spent his childhood in Simla. He received further education in Cork between 1875 and 1881 and went to Sandhurst. His commission was in the Queen's Royal West Surreys in 1885, and one of his first experiences of action was riot control in Belfast in 1886. After that he served in the Burmese War with the 2nd Battalion, then transferred to the Indian Army. He was attached to the 39th Bengalis, then the 29th Punjabis, then the 25th Punjabis. He saw action in various hot-spots including the relief of Chitral in 1895. He died on 23rd July 1927.

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by Stephen Luscombe