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Charles Hubert RANKIN


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Gunner 23087 22y11m 31/12/15 20/08/19 2

Gunner Charles Hubert Rankin (1893 - 1966)

Rankin Brothers Booklet

The Rankin Family

On the honour board in the Merrington Anzac Memorial Peace Chapel with the name of Colonel Dr D. G. Croll CBE on the top line are the names of three Rankin brothers.  Their father was Robert Alexander Rankin (junior), a Brisbane City Council alderman and gentleman of independent means whose father Robert Alexander Rankin (senior) was a co-founder of the confectionery firm Rankin and Morrow. Their mother was Jessie née Philip.

Alderman R. A. Rankin resigned his West Ward seat on the Brisbane City Council and the Fish Board in 1906 for health reasons. Their residence was at Woodlands, 137 North Quay where they raised their family of five sons and two daughters.  They worshipped at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.  

After Mr Rankin’s death at the age of 60 years in 1908, Mrs Jessie Rankin lived at Merthyr Road, New Farm and later at Virginia Road, Hawthorn. She died in 1935.

Charles' early life

Charles Hubert Rankin, the youngest member of the family of Robert Alexander and Jessie Rankin, was born in Brisbane on 17 January 1893.  After his father’s death in 1908, when he was only 15 years old, he lived with his mother at Merthyr Road, New Farm.  His occupations in his late teenage years were coffee roaster and bridge painter.

Enlistment

On the last day of the year 1915, he enlisted at the age of 22 years and 11 months, to serve abroad in the Australian Infantry Force.  He was allotted regimental number 23087 with the rank of gunner in the 9th Field Artillery Brigade.  His unit embarked from Sydney on board HMAT1 Argyllshire on 11 May 1916 and disembarked at Devonport on 11 July.  During the voyage he spent four days in the ship’s hospital recovering from influenza.

Service on the Western Front

After training in Southern England, the 9th Field Artillery Brigade left from Southampton on 29 December 1916 for active service on the Western Front.  Field Artillery brigades, each equipped with 18 pounder guns and 4.5 inch howitzers were formed to be assigned to infantry divisions in the field.  Gunner Rankin was transferred to the 12th Field Artillery Brigade to support the Australian Army in assignments as required.  On 10 June 1917 he suffered gunshot wounds to the right knee and right eye, requiring hospital treatment in England during the remaining months of that year.

He rejoined his unit in France in January 1918 and was reported wounded in action on a second occasion the following September but this report was later changed to injury as the result of an accident.

On discharge from a local hospital on this occasion Gunner Rankin rejoined his unit on 12 October 1918.  The Armistice followed soon afterwards, then leave in England and duties at the Australian General Brigade Depot in Le Havre.  

Return to Australia

Gunner Hubert Rankin waited for return to Australia till 12 May 1919 when the steamship Port Napier embarked from London.  He was discharged from the AIF on 20 August 1919 in Brisbane.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Post war 

Charles Hubert Rankin married Eleanor Jane Rix in Brisbane on 10 July 1920.  They lived at Clayfield where they kept a fruit store at the corner of Sandgate Road and Collins Street. The couple moved to Cedwell at 23 Jackson Street, Eagle Junction in the early 1930s.

Charles Hubert Rankin died in 1966 at the age of 73 and his widow died in 1970.


Footnotes
1. His Majesty’s Australian Transport
 

References

• National Archives of Australia, Canberra, military records
• Australian War Memorial - Embarkation  Rolls, Unit Histories
• The Brisbane Courier, 10 Dec 1925, page 10; 6 June 1933, page 10
• The Telegraph, 15 Sept 1906, page 8; 11 Oct 1905, page 2
• Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Annual Reports 1900 – 1930, Archives, Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church, Brisbane
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
• Queensland Electoral Rolls, 1903 – 1963
• Brisbane City Council, Cemetery Records
• State Library of Queensland

Compiled by N. E. Adsett, Brisbane.  March 2016.

 

 

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