Donald Rankine was born in Tongue son of John Rankine and Mary MacDonald, who had married in Caithness and then moved to live at Dherue Tongue a cottage high above Kinloch towards Ben Hope, where his father was probably employed as a shepherd; Donald emigrated to Canada prior to the First World War.
He served as a private soldier in the 43 Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Canada), Canadian Expeditionary Force. The battalion was in the 9 Brigade, 2 Canadian Division that took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
On Sunday the 8 of October, the 2 Canadian Division attacked Regina trench and was soon held up by enemy barbed wire. Only the 58 Battalion managed to enter the enemy front line at Regina trench, other units eventually joined them but were soon overwhelmed. The 43 Battalion entered Regina trench but it was soon forced out by enemy action and had to retire back to its start line.
Private Donald Rankine was killed in action during this attack.