SON OF JAMES AND MARY RANKIN, OF DERVOCK, CO. ANTRIM; HUSBAND OF MRS. RANKIN, OF 11, ARGYLE ST., PORT GLASGOW.
John Rankin was born in Dervock, a village a few miles north east of the town of Ballymoney in 1874. After leaving school he went to work in Scotland where work was more plentiful and eventually settled there.
At the time he enlisted he was living with his wife in Port Glasgow. At 43 years of age he was a lot older than the average soldier but had a great deal of experience of working with horses on the large farms in North Aryshire and Lanarkshire and as a blacksmith in the shipyards of Port Glasgow, and this was to be his job in the army. There is no trace of the Rankin family in Devrock now, however John was survived by his wife Lizzie, three children and two step children.
John was injured in the fierce fighting that took place for the capture of Vimy Ridge just a short distance north of Arras. He was removed to a Dressing Station a few miles to the west of Arras close to Haute-Avesnes but in spite of all that could be done, died later that day. He is buried in the nearby cemetery. Haute-Avesnes is a village 9 kilometres west of Arras on the south side of the Arras-St.Pol road. The cemetery is north of the village on the road leading to Habarcq.
The photograph of John (seated in middle with cap) with his farrier team is believed to have been taken at or near Haute-Avesnes, shortly before his death.