James Gabriel Lancaster Ranking
Location: St.Barnabas, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 2RH
Details on cross:
CAPTAIN. J.G.L RANKING
JULY 12 1915
Underneath this is a metal plaque which is unreadable. Church goer has said he has transcription of text and I will send on once this arrives.
Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Carved
Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Cross beam width:770mm
Width of wood: 152mm
Thickness or depth: 100mm
Mounting to wall: Unknown fixing to wall
Evidence of use in field (earth marking, cracking, staining, shrinkage): Evidence of being in ground.
Surface insertion depth (into ground if apparent):310mm
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): No finish
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc): Excellent condition – may be due to being constructed with hard wood and being repatriated from Tehran.
The wording on the silver plaque is
“In loving memory/ of / James Gabriel Lancaster Ranking / Captain Indian Army / killed in action / near Bushire Persian Gulf /
July 12 1915 / r.i.p.”
This is the wording given on the Diocese of Rochester Faculty application, which I presume was used. The plaque was supplied by W. Ruffell and Son of 59 and 61 Mount Pleasant Rd. TW. JGR’s brother R.P.L. Ranking, then a Captrain, made all the arrangements for bringing the cross home – he ended up as a Major General, incidentally. I happen to have here at the moment the display board all about this, including photo and piece about Wilhelm Wassmuss “the German Lawrence of Arabia” whose activities stirred up the local tribes, but the board doesn’t photo very well. There is an entry on the CWGC site for JLR, buried now in Tehran War Cemetery, Iran.
Geoffrey – St Barnabas Church
Notes and observations:
Cross is kept in crypt – not often opened and with limited access.
RANKING, G J L
Date of Death: 12/07/1915
Regiment/Service: Indian Political Department
Grave Reference: II. B. 6.
Cemetery: TEHRAN WAR CEMETERY
Survey and photographs courtesy of Sebastian St John
Date of survey: 5th March 2017