William Evelyn Dunsynne (Billy) RANKIN

RANKIN, William Evelyn Dunsynne

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 19 February 1916, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 29th Infantry Battalion
Born: Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, 2 April 1888
Home Town: Maryborough, Fraser Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Maryborough Central State School and Sydney Grammar School
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: Killed In Action, France, 29 July 1918, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Mericourt-L'Abbe Communal Cemetery Extension
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Maryborough City Hall Honour Roll, Maryborough Queen's Park War Memorial, Maryborough St. Stephen's Honour Roll, Maryborough State High School Roll of Honour, University of Queensland WW1 Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 31st Infantry Battalion, Brisbane, Queensland
17 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 31st Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '16' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Kyarra embarkation_ship_number: A55 public_note: ''
17 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Officer, 31st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Kyarra, Brisbane
26 May 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 29th Infantry Battalion
29 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 29th Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days", --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: awm_unit: 29th Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Lieutenant awm_died_date: 1918-07-29

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Biography contributed by John Edwards


Once again it is our sad duty to record the deatn at the front of one of our finest young men. Lieut. W. E. Rankin (or "Billy" Rankin as he was more popularly known by his school mates) has made the supreme sacrifice whilst fighting in France, official word to that effect having reached Maryborough yesterday. Lieut. Rankin was a fine type of Australian manhood, and throughout life he enjoyed the confidence and respect of all with whom he came in contact. Our late townsman was a native of Maryborough, and was about 30 years of age at the time of his death. In early years of his childhood he was left an orphan, his father dying shortly before his son was born, and whilst of tender years his mother also died. As a schoolboy, William Rankin attended the Central School, where he soon distinguished himself as a scholar, and at the same time won the confidence of his class mates. On a prize being offered for the most popular boy of the class, William Rankin had a walk-over. He gained a State Scholarship and attended the Grammar School, where he continued his scholastic success, and proved himself a mathematician of exceptional merit.

After matriculating in both Sydney Junior and Senior Examinations, he joined the Education Department, and later was a member of the staff at the Gympie High School, where he was held in high esteem by his colleagues. He was successful in winning a University Scholarship at the Brisbane University and at the time of his enlistment was still a student there. After having completed two years' study for a bachelor of science degree, he joined the A.l.F. as a lieutenant of the 31st Battalion, and was later attached to the 29th. After seeing considerable active service, he eventually followed so many of his gallant comrades, and laid down his life for his country. News recently came to hand that Lieutenant Rankin was missing, but the advice received yesterday stated that he was killed in action on July 29th. Thus has ended a brilliant career, and Maryborough will mourn the loss of a young man the city was proud to call a "Maryborough boy." - from the Maryborough Chronicle 14 Aug 1918 (nla.gov.au)