Royal Sussex Regiment, Murree Hills, India.
Blaster E. Hoy.
The Barrack Tavern was probably set up by the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment who served in the Punjab area, India for 10 years from 1926. For at least part of the tour the 2nd battalion stayed at Kuldana Barracks.
After World War I the the passing of the Rowlatt Acts by the Government of India gave the British rulers very wide powers to act against persons judged guilty of sedition. This caused much offence in light of the loyal support given by the Indian people during the war, and Gandhi announced a new satyagraha which attracted millions of followers. Angry demonstrations took place throughout the Punjab, some of them involving violence against British personnel. They culminated on 13th April 1919 in the dispersal of a mob at Amritsar by Gurkha troops under the command of General Dyer. They were ordered to open fire and caused heavy civilian casualties.
Both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiments, in turn helped to keep the peace in India during the inter war years. The massacre caused a re-evaluation of the army’s role, in which the new policy became “minimum force”, and the army was retrained and developed suitable tactics for crowd control.