Born in Surmalu (present-day Igdir, Turkey), in the Yerevan governerate of the Russian Empire, Dro was one of the most daring avengers and military figures of Tashnaktsoutiun. He attended the local parish school, then a Russian high school in Yerevan.
Dro was tasked by the ARF Central Committee of Baku to punish those responsible for inciting the Tatar (Azeri) mobs and touching off the Armeno-Tatar confrontations in 1905. Georgian noble Prince Nakashidze, who had been vice-governor of Yerevan and participated in the seizures of Armenian Church properties, was appointed governor of Baku in 1904 and encouraged Tatar atrocities against the Armenians of the city. In May 1905, Dro assassinated Nakashidze in Baku.
Later, in 1907 in Alexandropol, he and Martiros Charoukhchian assassinated General Alikhanov, who had been in Nakhijevan in 1905 during Tatar attacks against Armenians and later led a Cossack division in Armenia. In 1908, Dro settled in Bayazit, in the guise of a merchant, to supervise arms shipments.
In 1915 Dro commanded the Second Armenian Volunteer Regiment. Later, he played a vital role in the decisive battles of 1918, gaining the victory at Bash Abaran, which, along with the victories at Sardarabad and Gharakilise, paved the way for the founding of the Armenian Republic of 1918.
Antranig was born in Shabin-Karahisar, Western Armenia, where he attended the Mousheghian School and received early training in carpentry, his father’s trade. He began his revolutionary activity in Sepasdia province in 1888, and joined the Tashnaktsoutiun in 1892, in Constantinople.
Soon after joining the ARF, Antranig returned to the interior provinces, where he defended Armenian villages in the Moush-Sasoun district in 1895–96. He crossed over to Va
n with group leader Vazgen in July 1897 and then moved on to Akhlat and Sasoun, where he stayed until 1904 as a rank-and-file fighter. He took on a greater role there after the assassination of fedayi leader Aghbiur Serop in 1900.
With Kevork Chavoush and Magar, he avenged Serop by killing the Kurdish executioner, Bshareh Khalil. With the blessing of the Central Committee of Moush, he and Kevork Chavoush organized and led the fighting at the besieged Arakelots monastery (near Moush) in 1901, donning the uniforms of Turkish officers in order to escape.
Njdeh was born in the village of Kznout, in Nakhijevan, the youngest of four children. His father was the village priest. Njdeh received his early education at a Russian school in the city of Nakhijevan. He continued his education at the Tiflis Russian Gymnasium (high school), then attended St. Petersburg University. After two years of study at the Faculty of Law there, he returned to the Caucasus to join the Armenian national liberation movement against the Russian and the Ottoman Empires.
Tehlirian was born in the village of Nerkin Bagarich, in the Erzurum region, and grew up in nearby Erzincan (Yerznga). He began his education at an Evangelical school in Erzincan, then attended the Ketronakan School of Constantinople. He began his higher education in engineering at a German university but returned to Erzincan when the First World War broke out.