RODERICK, John Morgan

Rank: 
Lieutenant
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Essex Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
94409
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Operations: 
On the 1st July 1939 the then Private Roderick received his commission as Second Lieutenant.  After volunteering for the Commandos he joined No 2 Commando 3 troop. During the St Nazaire raid he was OIC of an assault party amongst the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown.
 
One of his men was Cpl. John Donaldson who was killed during the raid and whose death was later described by Lieut. Roderick in the following words "Corporal Donaldson was a big loss to us. He was quite one of the nicest members of the troop. A quiet, soft spoken Scotsman with a charming smile and a most proficient soldier."
 
During the raid, Lieut. Roderick was shot through his thigh but continued with the operation, until further being injured in the head by the explosion of a grenade. With ammunition running low he and the others in his party, several of whom were also injured, decided to hide but were discovered during the morning just before the hidden explosives on the Campbeltown exploded. They were then taken to a hospital in Le Baule. 
 
Later he was awarded the MC "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during the raid on St. Nazaire."
 
During recovery from injuries and his subsequent captivity,  Lieut. Roderick took a keen interest in medicine. He worked as an orderly at the Obermasfield Prisoner of War Hospital gaining valuable medical experience. On repatriation to the UK in 1945 he applied and was accepted for a medical course at St Mary's. He became a well respected GP. 
 
He was subsequently awarded the Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur by the French Government.
 
Sources:
1939 London Gazettes Supp. 34821, page 1906.
1945 London Gazettes Supp. 37162, page 3493.
His widow Mrs Desiree Roderick MBE.
Second World War Experience Centre.
 

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