Cadets pay tribute to a hero of the Somme

Motherwell Army Cadets Conor Mullen and Mellisa Rodger with Sergeant David Beveridge of 105 Royal Artillery as they attended the Auban Sodger Presentation at Edinburgh Castle.
Motherwell Army Cadets Conor Mullen and Mellisa Rodger with Sergeant David Beveridge of 105 Royal Artillery as they attended the Auban Sodger Presentation at Edinburgh Castle.

Two Army Cadets from Motherwell won a competition to at Edinburgh Castle to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Cdt Mellisa Rodger (14) and Cdt Conor Mullen(13) of 2 Pl RSB Motherwell were accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Martin Passmore as they represented Glasgow and Lanarkshire Battalion in the ‘Auban Sodger Presentation’.

The competition relates to the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and alludes to the commemorative sculpture by Paul Auban.

Mel and Conor worked hard at researching and perfecting information in respect of the Battle of the Somme, as they focused their presentation on Mel’s ancestor Samuel Loudon Rodger.

Private Rodger, a member of the 5th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders, who also went by the name of Mel, died from the injuries he suffered at the Somme on May 3, 1917, at the age of 22.

The son of William and Rachel Rodger, Mel’s great great uncle is commemorated on the war memorial in his home town of Larkhall.

Mel and Conor gave their presentation to a panel of judges representing both the armed forces and the field of history.

While the judges’ deliberations took place there was time to visit the castle museum and receive a talk on the One O’clock Gun (1861), having a prime position to watch it being fired.

Everyone was then invited into the Officers’ Mess for lunch as it was announced Mel and Conor had beaten the team representing Angus and Dundee Battalion by a single point and were presented with its trophies.

Mel has also had the opportunity to visit France to see the grave of Private Rodger which is located in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun.