1500-1799 | Battlefield butchery | Burning villages | Civilians slaughtered | Collective punishments | Prisoners murdered | Punitive operations | Scotland | Wounded killed

‘PERFIDIOUS’ HIGHLANDERS ‘MUST PERISH BY SWORD OR FAMINE’

16 APRIL 1746 During the autumn of 1745, Jacobite rebels, led by ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie,’ and desiring to replace the Hanoverian king George II with the prince’s catholic father, James Stuart, marched on London, reaching as far south as Derby before they retreated to Scotland. The rebellion was motivated by a range of complex issues,…

1860-1899 | Battlefield butchery | Burning crops | Burning villages | Civilians slaughtered | Collective punishments | Livestock targeted

Colonial troops slaughter hundreds in Natal

14 December 1873 On 14 December 1873, John Colenso, the Bishop of Natal, wrote a letter to Frederick Chesson, the secretary of the London Aborigines Protection Society. He informed him that colonial troops had killed ‘hundreds of (Hlubi) men’ and that ‘hundreds of women and children’ had been taken prisoner, adding that a proclamation had…

1800-1859 | Collective punishments | Famine

Relief works for famine struck Irish villagers suspended

7 December 1846 In December 1846 Ireland was in the grip of a devastating potato famine as well as one of the worst winters in many years. Wherever a few people could find employment at a local public works, it provided the sole possible source of income and survival for the local community. One can…

1950-1959 | Collective punishments | Kenya

Archbishop of York backs collective punishment against Kenyan villages

26 November 1952 On 26 November 1952, Dr. Cyril Garbett, the Archbishop of York, speaking in the House of Lords, backed the British government’s use of collective punishment against villages and often entire districts deemed to be ‘uncooperative’ with Britain’s counter-insurgency campaign to crush the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebellion. During the next four years the…

1950-1959 | Collective punishments | Kenya

Wider powers of collective punishment authorized in Kenya

25 November 1952 Today in 1952, Sir Evelyn Baring, the governor of Kenya, issued new emergency measures designed to widen the conditions for the imposition of collective punishment in areas considered sympathetic to the anti-British Mau Mau insurgency. The pro-Empire Daily Express reported the same day that ‘Africans in the Thomson’s Falls District, where Commander Jock Meiklejohn…

1860-1899 | Burning villages | Collective punishments | Nigeria | Punitive operations

African villages shelled, machine gunned and burned to the ground

16 November 1882 Shortly after dawn on 16 November 1882,  the gunboat HMS Flint shelled, rocketed and opened up with its Gatling gun on the village of Abari on the Forcados river, a navigable channel of the Niger Delta. A report carried in at least two British newspapers noted that the bombardment was maintained ‘for…

1920-1939 | Civilians slaughtered | Collective punishments | Curfews | Massacres | Palestine | Punitive operations

Black watch troops beat twelve Arab villagers to death

6 November 1937 On Saturday 6 November 1937, an officer in the North Staffordshire Regiment recorded in his diary how soldiers of the Black Watch beat twelve Arab villagers to death with their rifle butts in the Palestinian village of Silwan.1  The incident occurred while troops were being deployed to crush an Arab rebellion against…

1940-1949 | Burning villages | Collective punishments | Malaysia | Punitive operations

British troops burn the Malayan village of Kachau

2 November 1948 On 2 November 1948, British troops and colonial police burned down the village of Kachau in the Malayan state of Selangor. The four hundred inhabitants were given two hours to collect their belongings.  Arthur Creech Jones, the secretary of state for the colonies, questioned about the incident in the House of Commons,…

1920-1939 | Bombing villages | Collective punishments | Iraq | Punitive operations | RAF crimes

Two Iraqi villages flattened after they refuse to pay fines

24 October 1927 At 0500 hours on 24 October 1927, at Shattrah RAF base, outside Al-Nasiriyah in southern Iraq, a  notice was erected for pilots with a short message – ‘Carry on Bombing !’  The target was the villages of the Al Hatim tribe, which had already endured two days of bombing. The inhabitants had…

1950-1959 | Collective punishments | Concentration camps | Detention without trial | Kenya | Martial law

British governor of Kenya declares a state of emergency

20 October 1952 Today in 1952, Kenya’s governor, Evelyn Baring, signed a state of emergency.  In the early hours of the following morning, in an operation code-named Jock Scott, 106 Kenyan civil rights leaders and individuals suspected of being overly sympathetic to an anti-British rebellion, known as the Mau Mau uprising, were arrested. Most of…