Remove the statue of James George Smith Neill from Wellington Square in Ayr

Remove the statue of James George Smith Neill from Wellington Square in Ayr

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
More signatures will help this petition be picked up by local news. Help take this petition to 1,500 signatures!

Kiran Trivedy started this petition to South Ayrshire Council and

"A brave, resolute and self-reliant solider, universally acknowledged as the first who stemmed the torrent of rebellion in Bengal". Thus reads the plaque beneath the statue of James George Smith Neill, that stands pride of place in the centre of our town. But who was this man?

James George Smith Neill (27 May 1810 – 25 September 1857) was a Scottish military officer of the East India Company, who served during the Indian rebellion of 1857. The rebellion was born from resentment of invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes and summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes, amongst other injustices. General Neill was infamous for numerous indiscriminate killing of Indians in the aftermath of a local massacre, including the execution of prisoners.

In one episode, he is said to have rounded up Brahmins, who had had nothing to do with the event, to wash up the blood of uprising victims from the floor while they were whipped with cat-o-nine-tails until they collapsed. At this point, these innocents were summarily executed by hanging.

The statue of Neill is a personal insult to those of us in Ayr whose ancestors suffered under the British occupation of India. Indeed, we believe that the veneration of such a man stands in stark opposition to the values that we would wish to strive for as a town. We who have signed this petition are clear that this man is not a part of our history we wish to be celebrated.

It is high time that the statue was removed from its current location. Instead, we implore the council to have it placed in a museum, where it can be used to educate future generations about the role of Scottish military officers in the British Empire.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
More signatures will help this petition be picked up by local news. Help take this petition to 1,500 signatures!