Roll of Honour
William Rodger was born around 1894, and was the only son of William and Jessie Rodger. The family lived at 1 Partickhill Road in Glasgow. William attended Allan Glen's School - a school he was eligible for due to the fact his father was a Commercial Traveller and Silversmiths' manager. William later attended Hillhead High School, where he was described as follows: "Of courteous manners and attractive personality, he was a great favourite with both teachers and classmates. He impressed all with whom he came in contact with his ability, strength of character, and devotion to duty, and he seemed clearly marked out for a career of success and usefulness."
On leaving Hillhead High School, William entered Glasgow University as a student in Engineering. He matriculated into the Faculty of Science in 1912, studying Maths, Natural Philosophy, Physics and Chemistry in his first year. He was to have a successful University career. In 1913 he gained a Strang Bursary in Civil Engineering, 2nd prize in Mathematics, First Class Certificates in Geology and Natural Philosophy. The following year he gained the Muir Bursary in Engineering and a prize in Engineering Drawing and Design.
The outbreak of war in 1914 cut William's time at University short. He had joined the OTC while a student, and when the war broke out enlisted as a Private in Lochiel's Camerons. William was soon singled out for a commission, and in May 1915, proceeded to France as a Subaltern in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
William was sent to Salonica in the Autumn of 1915, and attached temporarily to the Royal Engineers. His work impressed his superiors, and he was recommended for permanent service in the Engineers. In order to gain additional training, he returned to Chatham for a three months course in military engineering.
In November 1916, William went to France once more, when he saw much service with a field company. In July 1917, while building bridges at Nieuport, Belgium, under heavy shell fire, he was badly gassed, and was invalided home. He never fully recovered from the effects of this poisoning, and on the 1st November 1918, while still in hospital, he died of pneumonia, following influenza.
Lieutenant William Rodger is remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour. He is also remembered in the Hillhead High School Memorial Book, where his obituary states "In him the country has lost a very gallant gentleman and a most useful citizen."
Comments and Citations
Obituary: Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume (War Memorial Committee, 1921)
Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of Ho