|Ralph Garlick ICS in Stratford before his job assignment in India.drdudsdicta.com|
|Ralph Garlick ICS, judge, Calcutta court.amazon.in|
India was in the midst of active freedom struggle against the Raj and their oppressive rule after 1904 . The massacre of innocent people in April 1919 at Jalianwalla Bagh, Ameristar, Punjab, Mahatma Gandhi's salt long march to Dundy coast in Gujarat with his followers in March 1930 in protest against salt taxes, the parturition of Bengal in 1905 on communal line and a host of unpalatable incidents infuriated the natives against British government's misrule. As there was no semblance of freedom to the Indians which was their aspiration, anger was way high across the country, in particular, in Bengal. At variance with the national leaders, countless young freedom fighter in Bengal and elsewhere thought violence as a means to cow down the British. Since 1906 violence committed by revolutionaries in Bengal had gone up to 210. According to the police report roughly 1038 persons had some kind of link with the violence and outrages. Through sustained efforts, 84 people were convicted of specified crimes; out of then 30 were tried by the tribunals constituted under the defense Act of India.
|Alipore, Calcutta, India. Maps of India com|
In 1931 an English judge Ralph Garlick was felled down by the revolutionaries in Calcutta. Ralph Garlick, born in 1876 in Stratford-upon-Avon, was the son of a prominent burgess, a leading member of the Congregational Church and a music teacher with wide experience. He was the owner of a music warehouse. Ralph had his early education at Shakespeare's old school King Edward VI that was headed by HM the Rev. de Courcy Laffan. By virtue of becoming the school's first Head Boy in 1893 he led the first procession. Subsequently, it had become part of the regular annual event -what was known as town's annual celebration of Shakespeare's birthday. In 1894 Ralph joined the Pembroke College, Oxford on an open classical scholarship, During the college days he also excelled in outdoor sports activities and became a successful oarsman. Having successfully completed ICS competitive exam to seek a comfortable job in the colonial administration of the Indian subcontinent, he took up a job in 1900 in the judiciary department of Bengal. Being hard working and dedicated to his job, his gradual promotion to higher position was quite obvious. After successfully sailed through various ranks, in 1929 he was appointed a judge to the Calcutta High Court.
|The Court House at Calcutta (Illustrated London News. drdudsdicta.com|
|Sessions court, Alipore, Bengal. drdudsdicta.com|
On the fatal day of 27th July 1931 in Alipore, a suburb of Calcutta Judge Ralph returned to his courtroom after lunch to resume his judicial work. All of a sudden, before one could wink ones eyes, a Bengali revolutionary and architect, Bimal Das Gupta whipped up a revolver and shot the judge from the other end in the court room. As the shot did not hit the honorable judge, Gupta quickly moved over to the witness-box and fired at the dazed judge. The death was instant as the bullet hit his head. this time.
Though in mid-July 1931, Ralph received a letter threatening his life, Ralph.was unmoved and kept on carrying his court work. Not to take any risk, the administration had put two police officers in the court room, besides had some sleuths stationed there to confront the trouble makers.
|Freedom fighter, Bimal das Gupta's statue,Midnapore,WB.amarmedinipur.com/|
Soon after the murder on the Judicial Court premises in Alipore, the media reported that the police opened fire and killed the assassin Gupta on the spot. In the melee one policeman was injured. Bimal Das Gupta was a ‘wanted’ man following the murder of a somewhat unpleasant Mr James Peddie, district magistrate at Midapore, in April 1931. A letter found in Gupta’s pocket stated that the murder was intended as a reprisal for the sentencing to death by Mr Ralph Garlick of Dinesh Gupta who happened to be Bimal’s mentor. The letter simply read, “Thou shalt be destroyed. This is the reward for the injustice done to Dinesh Gupta” and was signed by Bimal.
This unexpected murder of a learned judge in Calcutta became a sensation scoop across India and also in England. The politicians in the House of Commons were highly critical of this murder and expressed condemnation in view of the violence that begun to show up its ugly heads in many places. Obviously, the administration in London was quite concerned about the safety of British higher-ups in India. Ralph Garlick's urn carrying his ash was sent to Stratford to be handed over to his family. His urn was placed in the grave of his parents.in the Cemetery on the Evesham Road. It was in 1934 a fitting memorial tablet was unveiled at King Edward VI School; it has recently been renovated.