b. 01/1829 Glasgow, Scotland. d. 09/03/1870 Glasgow, Scotland.
George Rodgers (1829-1870) was a Glaswegian born in January 1829. He joined the 71st Highlanders, later to become the Highland Light Infantry, and went with the regiment to the Crimea. He would have spent months in the trenches of Sebastopol and took part in the Kerch Expedition in Eastern Crimea in 1855. Sent to India, the regiment joined one of the columns involved in the Central India campaign. They arrived with Colonel Riddell’s column to join General Rose at Morar and in the brief fight on 16th June 1858, George Rodgers would be recommended for the VC on 11th November 1859.
Rodgers had single-handedly charged and attacked a party of seven rebels, one of whom he killed. The rebels were well armed and strongly posted in the line of advance of the 71st Highlanders. Rodgers received his VC at Gwalior on 11th April 1860.
The 71st remained in India and took part in the Umbeyla Campaign of 1863. The regiment returned to England in 1865 and Rodgers took his discharge. In common with many soldiers, he had become addicted to drink, and this led to his sad and painful demise. He had returned to Glasgow, and, on 9th March 1870, paid a visit to his sister in the hope of obtaining alcohol. She refused his request and told him to stay in her flat until she returned. Still craving a drink, Rodgers searched the flat and found a likely looking bottle in the kitchen. Without checking the contents, he drank it and soon was in agony. His sister returned to find he had consumed a bottle of vitriol (sulphuric acid) and had suffered a horrific death. He was buried in a common grave in the Southern Necropolis in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. His medals are held by the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum, Glasgow.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIERS MUSEUM, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND.
BURIAL PLACE: SOUTHERN NECROPOLIS, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND.
George Rodgers' medals on display at the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.
(Picture - Thomas Stewart).