Corporal Mechanic Matthew Spencer Rodger


Matthew Spencer Rodger was born on 6 January 1894 at 68 Alfred Terrace, Belfast, the second of five children of Scottish-born ship draughtsman Robert Rodger and his wife, English-born Lucy Hannah (nee Spencer). By 1911 he was living with his family at 21 Ponsonby Avenue, Belfast, and working as an apprentice marine engineer for the shipbuilding firm Workman Clark & Co.

Rodger enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 7 September 1914 (No.1146). On 18 December 1914 he embarked for France with the first reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons – Rodger was posted to the former. On 13 October 1915 he sustained a wound to his right hand. He was admitted to No.10 Stationary Hospital at St Omer and was discharged ten days later.

On 19 November 1915 Rodger was attached to the Royal Flying Corps as Air Mechanic 2nd Class, He was promoted to Air Mechanic 1st Class on 1 May 1916, acting corporal on 18 July 1916, and corporal on 1 May 1917. He joined the Royal Air Force on its creation on 1 April 1918 (No.13914) with the rank of corporal mechanic and trade classification of fitter (general).

Rodger was transferred to the RAF's G Reserve on 25 March 1919.

After the war he worked as an engineer. He died at his home, 31 The Hill, Groomsport, County Down, on 11 June 1965.