1113 Lawrence 'Clarrie' RODERICK, NZ Armoured Corps & LRDG: POW

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Skip, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    Hello all,

    Can anyone help with this man that I am researching? Recent postings and the help that you have all given me gives me hope that someone out there might have further details of his death that can be confirmed. On the date he was killed a partisan group attacked a fascist barracks at Sasso d'Ombrone and a partisan was noted as being killed. Was this Roderick. Bill Rudd's excellent database states that he was executed at this town. Does anyone have any further details?

    All the best,


    L/Cpl Lawrence Douglas ‘Clarrie’ RODERICK [1113] NZ Armoured Corps, LRPU + LRDG.
    Born at Gisborne, Poverty Bay, New Zealand on 19/02/13. Before enlisting he had worked as a linesman and had been a lightweight Australasian professional boxer.
    Roderick is known to have been the gunner on T1 ‘Te Rangi’ (HQ Troop of T Patrol) when he was taken POW on 31/01/41 at Jebel Sherif after being attacked by The Auto Saharan Company and Italian aircraft. This was during Operation Aesop, the Murzak raid. Major Clayton, L/Cpl Roderick and L/Cpl Adams were forced to surrender after MG fire punctured two tires, the radiator and the petrol tank of their truck. He and ‘Wink’ Adams became the first soldiers from 2 NZEF to be captured. Pat Clayton wrote to his wife’s sister from a POW camp stating: ‘Roderick put 22 bullet holes in the plane and wounded the observer ... I told Roderick and Adams to give in as the car was hit with a big bullet in the tank. They were not hurt and were excellent throughout … they (the Italians) gave Roderick trousers to replace his which were torn to ribbons in the scramble and fed us with their own officers and men respectively. The next day after a little air raid we were taken off by plane (to Benghazi), and then sent on (to Tripoli) by motorbus full of refugee women and children. We were well looked after by our Carabinieri guards, but it was a tough journey.’ He also wrote to the mother of ‘Wink’ Adams stating: Your boy and Roderick mended the tyres under constant interruption from machine guns.’
    After escaping from a camp in Italy he joined the Partisans and was killed leading a Partisan attack on 06/04/44.
    Son of Mr and Mrs G Roderick. Auckland War Memorial records show his enlistment address as; ‘c/o D Birkett, Brewer Street, Blenheim’, his next of kin as; ‘Mr G Roderick (brother), Queen Street, Richmond, Nelson’, and his embarkation unit as; ‘2 NZEF 05/01/40-31/03/40.’
    Age 31. No inscription on his grave at Bolsena, Italy.
    Also commemorated on the Blenheim War Memorial.
  2. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Hi Skip; unfortunatey Icannot provide any further information in regard of his dead. I "jumped" on this thread because I saw the name - he was one of P.A. Clayton's crew at Jebel Sherif and therefore subject of my research as well when we did the book about this story. But my research ended after he became POW.
  3. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps a browse through the WO 309 - WO 310 & WO 311 Catalogues would find something. Very time consuming but can get results a straightforward search doesn't.

    1st December 1940 L/Cpl Roderick is listed as a "W" Patrol member.
  4. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    When he was captured, he was a member of "T" Patrol, sitting in the turck of the commander, Major P.A. Clayton.
  5. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    Thanks Kuno and Brian for the replies. I am part way through trawling certain files in WOs 309 and 311 so I will expand the search in case there is anything on Roderick there. Kuno - I have a copy of your excellent book. Cheers.
  6. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Skip take a look on Google Earth at 43:43N - 11:46E and you will see a photo of Castello Poppi.
    This was PG 38 in 1943 where Roderick was said to have been held.
  7. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    . Kuno - I have a copy of your excellent book.

    Then you have all I know about him...
  8. gayle bly

    gayle bly Member

    Hi, not sure if my other message got to you. I too am researching Clarry, for a relative of his. You asked when he died which was 6 April 1944. My info says he died while leading an attack as part of the partisan group. What other info did you come up with, and are you too a relative or what is your special interest. Do you happen to have any stories about him to add a personal touch to my research.
  9. gayle bly

    gayle bly Member

    Ps..where in the world are you. Im in NZ
  10. gayle bly

    gayle bly Member

    also, prehaps you have photos, there are heaps of un-named photos on the internet...but don't know really what he looks like.
  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Gayle,

    I found these two articles (in Italian) which I have translated for you. The first one got the date wrong - put 7 April - so I have left it out. The second is an article in the local paper, the Tirreno, dated 22 April 2000.

    http://www.straginazifasciste.it/wp-content/uploads/schede/MACCHIA ALTA CINIGIANO 20.06.1944.pdf

    On 4 April the men of Montecucco attacked the headquarters of the youth section of the Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana (the Fascist Police) at Sasso d’Ombrone, coming up against some strong opposition. Two Russian members of the group were killed. In the way of reprisals the Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana organised a massive round-up in the Montecucco area, during which the leader of the partisans, New Zealander Captain Roderick, lost his life.


    April 27. Cinigiano to remember New Zealand commander killed by the Fascists in Montecucco. A plaque in memory of foreign hero Lawrence G. Roderick, leader of the "Mameli" partisans.

    CINIGIANO. On Thursday, April 27 (at 16.00) there will be a commemorative event to honour the memory of New Zealand soldier Lawrence George Roderick , commander of the partisan band "Goffredo Mameli", who died in combat in Montecucco on 6 April 1944. The initiative has been promoted by the Grosseto section of the National Association of Italian Partisans (ANPI), the Municipality of Cinigiano and the administration of the Province of Grosseto..

    In January 1997, thanks to the involvement of the New Zealand embassy in Rome and the ANPI in Grosseto, soldier Lawrence's relatives came to Montecucco to visit the places where he fought and fell. Leading on from this visit, the town of Cinigiano, the province of Grosseto and Senator Torquato Fusi, have decided to organize this event, commemorating soldier Lawrence George Roderick by dedicating a plaque to his memory. Roderick was killed on April 6, 1944, during one of the "Mameli's" actions in the Montecucco area. Like many former Allied prisoners of war, he had enlisted in the partisan group to fight against the Fascists and to liberate the Old World.

    So, it would be interesting to find out which relatives travelled all the way to Italy in January 1997 to visit Cinigiano - obviouisly not the one you are helping.


    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  12. gayle bly

    gayle bly Member

    thank you so much, I too, would be interested who went there ...I have been secretly trying to find out as much as I can before giving it all to Bob, but I think that soon I am going to have to enlighten him as it may help with the research. Unfortunately Bobs has has passed away many years ago, as he probably would have known more.
  13. gayle bly

    gayle bly Member

    it all seems like a big deal....was it common to have such a lot of ...follow up (is that the right word)..so many years after the event.
  14. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Yes, it happens a lot here in Italy. The ex-partisans (ANPI) are always on the look- out for political credit and do all they can to keep their past actions in the limelight. It's just as much about them as it is about the men commemorated.

    I don't intend to go any further into Italian politics ....

  15. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    vitellino likes this.
  16. Gabriel_GR

    Gabriel_GR New Member

    I wish to report you that in the Cinigiano city Hall appears a memory plate in honour of "Captain Lawrence George Roderick" died in Cinigiano april 6 1944.
    Here is the related link: Lastra a Lawrence George Roderick – Cinigiano | Pietre della Memoria .

    Best regards
  17. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thank you Gabriel - you will see that there is a reference to this higher up on the thread


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