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Remembered Today:

Sgt John Irvine Rodger RFA


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I came across this article from The Argus and wondered if anyone knew any more about it.

I would be particularly interested to know if the guard was brought to justice.

Saturday 19 October 1918

SOLDIER MURDERED.GERMAN CAMP ATROCITY.

Authentic details of the shocking circumstances in which a Scottish soldier met

his death while a prisoner in Germany are given by a comrade now interned in

Holland in a letter to Mis S Rodger, 48 Grafton street, Glasgow, who was officially

informed that her son Sergeant John I Rodger, RFA, died of double pneumonia

The letter (says the Scotsman ) states that Sergeant Rodger had been but three |

weeks at Giessen. On behalf of his comrades in the camp he, speaking German

lodged a complaint about the food. He told the sentry the stuff was not fit to eat

whereupon the German got behind him and stabbed him in the back. Sergeant

Rodger staggered back to the barracks and lay down. Next day he was removed

to hospital and died within 24 hours

Sergeant Rodger thrice declined the Military Medal but just before his last visit home

in February of this year he accepted The Meritorious Service Medal He was well known

in Glasgow business and scholastic circles

Initials:J I

Nationality:United Kingdom

Rank:Serjeant

Regiment/Service:Royal Field Artillery

Unit Text:"B" Bty. 107th Bde.

Age:27

Date of Death:14/04/1918

Service No:61071

Awards:M S M

Additional information:Son of William and Susan Rodger, of Glasgow; husband of Jeanie Downie Ingram Rodger, of Wood Cottage, Kenishead, Thornliebank, Renfrewshire.

Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference:V. K. 4.

Cemetery:NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY

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There seems little of substance written to try to draw together various reports of such incidents.

Here is report of another incident from the book 'My Four Years in Germany', by US Ambassador James W. Gerard, offers the following insights from the ambassador.

I received information of the shooting of one prisoner, and although the camp authorities had told Dr. McCarthy that the investigation had been closed and the guard who did the shooting exonerated, nevertheless, when I visited the camp in order to investigate, I was told that I could not do so because the matter of the shooting was still under investigation. Nor was I allowed to speak to those prisoners who had been witnesses at the time of the shooting. I afterward learned that another Irishman had been shot by a guard on the day before my visit, and the same obstacles to my investigation were drawn about this case...

.... think that the Germans suspected that I had learned from fellow prisoners of the cruel and unnecessary shooting of two Irish prisoners at Limburg. It was not from prisoners, however, that I obtained this information, but from Germans who wrote to me.

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There were a few such incidents involving all nationalities. Investigating them was almost impossible as the American Ambassador found out. This one is listed in FO383/405 along with a number of other deaths from various causes. The German explanation for his death is in FO383/490. A full report was published on J P Genower's death at Brandenburg and makes interesting reading.

Doug

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  • 9 years later...

John Irvine Rodger was my father's uncle and namesake.  His youngest sister Margaret named her only son 'John Rodger' after him and these forenames have been carried on for three generations. .

 

 

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On 07/11/2009 at 13:28, IPT said:

I came across this article from The Argus and wondered if anyone knew any more about it.

I would be particularly interested to know if the guard was brought to justice.

Saturday 19 October 1918

SOLDIER MURDERED.GERMAN CAMP ATROCITY.

Authentic details of the shocking circumstances in which a Scottish soldier met

his death while a prisoner in Germany are given by a comrade now interned in

Holland in a letter to Mis S Rodger, 48 Grafton street, Glasgow, who was officially

informed that her son Sergeant John I Rodger, RFA, died of double pneumonia

The letter (says the Scotsman ) states that Sergeant Rodger had been but three |

weeks at Giessen. On behalf of his comrades in the camp he, speaking German

lodged a complaint about the food. He told the sentry the stuff was not fit to eat

whereupon the German got behind him and stabbed him in the back. Sergeant

Rodger staggered back to the barracks and lay down. Next day he was removed

to hospital and died within 24 hours

Sergeant Rodger thrice declined the Military Medal but just before his last visit home

in February of this year he accepted The Meritorious Service Medal He was well known

in Glasgow business and scholastic circles

Initials:J I

Nationality:United Kingdom

Rank:Serjeant

Regiment/Service:Royal Field Artillery

Unit Text:"B" Bty. 107th Bde.

Age:27

Date of Death:14/04/1918

Service No:61071

Awards:M S M

Additional information:Son of William and Susan Rodger, of Glasgow; husband of Jeanie Downie Ingram Rodger, of Wood Cottage, Kenishead, Thornliebank, Renfrewshire.

Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference:V. K. 4.

Cemetery:NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY

John Irvine Rodger was my father's uncle and namesake.  His youngest sister Margaret named her only son 'John Rodger' after him and these forenames have been carried on for three generations. In the photo below I believe him to be the baby on his mother Susan's knee.

Rodger family circa 1893.jpg

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