David Gilmour

A Dyer Order

The Amritsar Massacre: The Untold Story of One Fateful Day


I B Tauris 264pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

A long open-topped motorcar slides its way through the bazaar, preceded by an armoured vehicle and followed by a company of Gurkhas and Baluchi soldiers, trotting along holding Lee-Enfield rifles. The car stops. Brigadier Rex Dyer, crustily played by Edward Fox, gets out and strides to a broad but enclosed space known as the Jallianwala Bagh. While his soldiers line up on either side of him, Dyer observes a large, peaceful-looking crowd to whom a Sikh orator is preaching Gandhi’s doctrine of non-violent resistance. Declining to give the crowd a warning, he orders his men to open fire and to keep on firing for a cinematic eternity. He even directs the Gurkhas to aim at a group of people trying to escape over a wall.

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