Rodger, Robert

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Rodger, Robert

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Robert Cruden Rodger was born on 7th June 1895 in Largs, the only son of 7 surviving children of Margaret Morrison Rodger (née Cruden) and Andrew Rodger, a tobacconist and newsagent. In 1911, Rodger was working as an apprentice architect and subsequently attended as a day student of architecture at The Glasgow School of Art from 1912-1914. During WW1, Rodger served initially as a Corporal with the Royal Garrison Artillery, armed with heavy, large calibre guns with immense destructive power positioned some way behind the front line. He also served as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Flying Corps, the air arm of the British army and the Royal Field Artillery, which deployed medium calibre guns close to the front line. By the end of WW1, Rodger was serving as a Lieutenant with the Royal Air Force which was founded on 1st April 1918 following the amalgamation of the Royal Navy Air Service and the Royal Flying Core. In April 1915, Rodger served in the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign, an attempt by the Allied Powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia. Huge losses were suffered at Gallipoli on all sides, both in battle and also from the horrendous conditions. Rodger was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in recognition of his conspicuous gallantry on the 28th June 1915 when the 97th Battery, Royal Field Artillery came under fire. One gun was hit and the whole gun detachment killed or wounded with an ammunition wagon set on fire. Rogers with great bravery and presence of mind, assisted by two other men, managed to extinguish the fire saving the ammunition and preventing further loss of life. He was later awarded the Military Cross in 1917 in recognition for his conspicuous gallantry in action with the Royal Field Artillery, special reserve, attached to a trench mortar battery, for his courage under heavy fire and for services including cutting an important section of the enemy's wire. Rodger married Gladys Elaine Rowan-Owen in Glasgow on 17th September 1923 when he was working as an architect. Later in his life, he worked with the police and subsequently as an intelligence officer. He travelled widely including to Canada, America, Mozambique and Singapore in his role as a government officer. In the 1930's, he lived and worked in India and after the Second World War lived mainly in Kenya with his wife and 2 children, still working with the government. He died on 1 June 1961 in West Sussex while on a visit back to the UK from his home in Kenya. Robert Rodger is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's World War One Roll of Honour.

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Sources: Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; The National Archives: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk; Ancestry: http://www.ancestry.co.uk; the Dictionary of Scottish Architects: http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk; Find My Past: http://search.findmypast.co.uk; History: http://www.history.com; Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org:

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