1 December 2004

A ceremony organised by the Royal Highland Fusiliers and Mrs Mary Fairbairn of Abercorn Memorials, Edinburgh, took place on the 1st December 2004 in Glasgow's Southern Necropolis, to place a memorial stone over the previously unmarked grave of Private George Rodgers VC.

Most of the fighting during the Indian Mutiny in 1857 - 58 had been in the north, and although there had been two rebellions in central India, at Gwalior and Jhansi, they were not put down until 1858, when Sir Hugh Rose in command of the Central India Field Force advanced from Bombay in a campaign of unsurpassed speed and effectiveness.

Mutiny had broken out at the Jhansi garrison to the south-west of Lucknow in June 1857 and when the beleagured occupants of the besieged fort offered to turn it over to the rebels in exchange for their lives, the mutineers went back on their word and massacred them as they left. When, on the 21st February 1858, the column under the command of Sir Hugh Rose arrived and surrounded the town, the Rani of Jhansi, and her eleven thousand rebels, had made preparations for a long siege. But despite an attempt to relieve it by twenty thousand men led by Tantia Topi, that was defeated at the Betwah River by a thousand native troops and five hundred British, by the 3rd April 1858 the town of Jhansi was in British hands.

Tantia Topi had occupied the town of Koonch, which was held by a strong fort, but on 7th May 1858 it was taken, though the temperature was 110 degrees F in the shade and many on both sides died from the heat. The next objective was Kalpi, which controlled the road from Lucknow across the Yamuna River, and which fell on the 22nd May 1858, though the rebel force was ten times that of the British. Once Kalpi was secure Rose was able to go on medical leave to cure his fifth bout of sunstroke, but Tantia Topi and the Rani of Jhansi joined forces at Gwalior which then went over to their side. Rose resumed his command, routed the rebels at the cantonments at the River Marar, and took Gwalior. It was during the action at the River Marar that Private George Rodgers of the 71st Regiment earned his Victoria Cross.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 11 November 1859 ], Marar, Gwalior, Indian Mutiny, 16 June 1858, Private George Rodgers, 71st ( Highland ) Regiment.

For daring conduct at Marar, Gwalior, on the 16th June 1858, in attacking by himself a party of seven Rebels, one of whom he killed. This was remarked as a valuable service, the party of Rebels being well armed and strongly posted in the line of advance of a detachment of the 71st Regiment.

George Rodgers sadly died in Glasgow's Govan district, on the 9th March 1870, after mistakenly drinking vitriol poison thinking it was alcolhol. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Glasgow's Southern Necropolis.

Medal entitlement of Private George Rodgers VC - 71st ( Highland ) Regiment

  • Victoria Cross
  • Crimea Medal ( 1854-56 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Sebastopol"
  • Indian Mutiny Medal ( 1857-58 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Central India"
  • India General Service Medal ( 1854-95 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Umbeyla"
  • Turkish Crimea Medal ( 1855-56 )


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Iain Stewart, 18 January 2005