Witness to the Amritsar Massacre.
The following selected extracts from the book 'The
Amritsar Massacre' by Alfred Draper, 1985.
April 1919 :-
"(General) Dyer followed the marching men in his car which
contained his personal bodyguard, Sergeant William Anderson of the Londons,
and Captain Briggs, his brigade Major."
"Only a few minutes remained before sunset when the column
approached the narrow entrance to the Jallianwala Bagh, Dyer immediately
ordered, the fifty riflemen and forty Gurkhas with kukris to enter at the
double. He followed close behind with Briggs and Anderson at his
"Dyer shouted, 'Gurkhas right, 59th left. Fire' The order was
immediately repeated by the young British subaltern in command of the
Indians. The fifty soldiers knelt, raised their rifles, took aim and fired
a volley into the heart of the crowd gathered near the platform."
"As people began to fall dead and wounded, the
and ran in all directions in a desperate attempt to esc of bullets. There
was total panic as people fought to out.
William Anderson was standing behind the General
and a little to his right when the first volley was fired. He glanced
around and noticed that Captain Briggs was just ahead of him while Mr.
Plomer was standing on the left of Dyer. As the shots rang out the whole crowd seemed to
sink to the ground in a flurry of white garments. Seconds later the horror
of the situation struck home and people began running for the walls and
clambering over while others streamed towards the entrance through which
the troops had emerged.
particularly noticed that there was no attempt to rush the troops and that
the subaltern kept his eyes firmly on the General and when he repeated his
orders the men obeyed him implicitly. The kneeling soldiers continued to
fire with accuracy and deliberation, carefully selecting their targets
and making each round tell. When the soldiers had emptied their magazines,
Dyer ordered them to reload and continue independent rapid fire, and to
direct their fire where the crowd was densest. Anderson
glanced at Briggs and noticed that he was puckering his face as if in pain
and plucking at Dyer's sleeve, but he did not speak and the General
ignored him and did not divert his attention from the slaughter that was
taking place a few yards below and in front of him.
Dyer was so totally absorbed that he did not hear the policeman;
instead he cast his eyes around the scene of confusion below and ordered
the soldiers to fire towards the peepul trees where a large number of people were
seeking shelter. The soldiers were as disciplined and calm as marksmen at
the butts, and there was no wild or sporadic firing. William Anderson was
bewildered by what was going on. Briggs was most impressed that not one
man had hesitated and none had fired high."
Sergeant Anderson, General Dyer's
'The Amritsar Massacre' by Alfred
Draper, 1985. Buy at Bookfinder.