Sergeant Thomas James Rankin


Thomas James Rankin was born on 18 December 1887 in Jubilee Terrace, Coleraine, the third of nine children of plasterer James Rankin and his wife Mary Ann (née Thompson). The family moved to Belfast around 1897. On 28 February 1911 Thomas married Mary Wilson in the Oldpark Presbyterian Church, Belfast. At the time he gave his occupation as labourer, three years later as milk server, and the following year as clerk. The couple's only child was born in 1914, and Mary died less than a year later. On 24 November 1916 Thomas married Sarah Wilson (possibly Mary's sister) in the Holy Trinity Church of Ireland Parish Church, Belfast. Their first child was born at their home, 43 McCandless Street, the following year.

Rankin enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 November 1915 (No.1830 – later Corps of Hussars No.71580). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918. He remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 14 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1967 Rankin was living in Belfast, at 3 Keswick Street. He died on 24 November that year in the Belfast City Hospital, and was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.