General Dyer

Brigadier-General Reginald "Rex" Edward Harry Dyer CB (October 9, 1864 - July 23, 1927) was a British Indian Army officer remembered for his role in the Amritsar Massacre. Dyer was born in Murree, then in India, now in Pakistan. He grew up in Shimla and attended the Bishop Cotton School there. In 1885 he was commissioned into the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, and served in riot control duties in Belfast (1886) and the Third Burma War (1886-87). He then transferred to the Indian Army, initially joining 39th Bengal Infantry then transferring to 29th Punjabis. He served in the latter in the Black Mountain campaign (1888), the Relief of Chitral (1895)and the Mahsud blockade (1901-2). He transferred to 25th Punjabis then served in the Zakha Khel Expedition (1908). He commanded 25th Punjabis in India and Hong Kong. During World War I (1914-18) he commanded the Seistan Field Force, for which he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Companion of the Bath (CB). In 1919, over a month after the Amritsar incident, in the Third Anglo-Afghan War, his Brigade relieved the garrison of Thal, for which he was again Mentioned in Dispatches. 5th Brigade at Jamrud was his last command posting for a few months in 1919. Under his command, 90 troops (25 Gurkhas of 1st/9th Gurkha Rifles, 25 Pathans and Baluch of 54th Sikhs and 59th Scinde Rifles, all armed with .303 Lee-Enfield rifles; another 40 Gurkhas armed only with kukris) killed over 379 (probably 530 or more) unarmed Indians and injured over 1000 (though many Indians claim a death toll in the thousands) in the Amritsar Massacre of April 13, 1919. The totals of dead and wounded were never ascertained. The crowd was assembled in the Jallianwala Bagh, an enclosure of 2.4-2.8 ha (6-7 acres) in the centre of the city, some participating in a banned political rally protesting against the Rowlatt Acts, some going about their daily business or resting in the public place. The enclosure was walled, and had only five narrow entrances, one of which the troops blocked, others of which were barred. The crowd was unable to comply with commands to disperse. Dyer was in command of the 45th (Jullundur) Brigade at time of the massacre. Although some praised his ruthlessness, he was widely condemned internationally, and, in 1920, after the publication of the report of the Hunter Committee, which enquired into the Punjab Disturbances, and which heavily censured Dyer, the Government of India removed him from his post and sent him back to England. After debates on his case in Parliament, one of which censured him (the Commons), the other of which supported him (the Lords), Dyer resigned in 1920. On his return to Britain,Dyer was presented a purse of 18,000 pound sterling,a huge sum in those days which emerged from a collection on his behalf by the newspaper Morning Post now Daily Telegraph.

Sankalp Unit