Lest We Forget

1914 - 1918

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

Rankine, John

Private, 1st/5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders
Service Number
about 1889 at Leith
Thomas and Mary Rankine, of Chapel Place, North Queensferry
Date of death
13th November 1916 (Aged 27)
I.G.14, Mailly Wood Cemetery, Mailly-Maillet, Somme, France
Other Memorials
Inverkeithing Memorial.
Scottish National War Memorial (Edinburgh Castle)

Other Information

J Rankine Grave
Grave of John Rankine

Census 1911 at Chapel Place (22) born Leith, Grocer’s Assistant, son of Thomas (59) riveter on Forth Bridge and Mary (61)

On the morning of Monday 13th November 1916, the Seaforths were one of the lead battalions positioned in the British front line near Hawthorn Ridge close to the village of Beaumont Hamel. They were flanked on the left by the 8th Argyll’s and on the right by the 6th Black Watch. Their objective was to capture the village of Beaumont Hamel – which had been an objective for the British since the 1st July 1916.

There are many accounts of this battle and of note is the fact that the weather was described as atrocious, with heavy rain, thick mist and mud with a consistency of porridge.

History records at the end of the day that the village of Beaumont Hamel (or more accurately its broken ruins) were in British hands.

John and his brother David were both killed in this dreadful battle. They are buried close together.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Scottish National War Memorial (Edinburgh Castle)

National Archives. Medal Card. Soldier’s Effects

Scottish War Memorials Project

Census 1911

Alex Morris

Here dead we lie, Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land, From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure, Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is, And we were young.

[A.E. Housman]

When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Your Tomorrow,
We gave our Today

[Kohima, attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds]

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