LIEUTENANT RICHARD ROLAND RANNARD
17TH APRIL 1918 AGE 32
BURIED: OUTTERSTEENE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, BAILLEUL, FRANCE
"I state that Lieut Rannard was killed by a shell - wounded in the neck and died at once at Sec-Bois on April 17th 1918. He was buried there, with other members of Battalion by a Padre and a cross, a very nice one, was erected. He was a fine little chap.The ground was held.
Description:- Dark, thin face, grey eyes, medium height.
Informant: Byrne. GB. Lieut. (Entirely reliable)
3rd London General Hospital
Lieutenant Bytne may not have been an eyewitness but there were plenty in this Red Cross Wounded and Missing file and unusually they all agree. Rannard was giving orders whilst a barrage was on, "I saw him killed by a piece of shrapnel, back of neck, instantly fell back dead in my arms".
Rannard's inscription is very much influenced by propaganda: recruiting posters such as - "Take up the Sword of Justice" - and the memorial plaque given to the next-of-kin of all the dead which states that whoever received it had died for 'freedom and honour', together with numerous pleas in posters and the press for Australians to fight for their King and the Empire.
Richard Rannard was born in Australia and enlisted as a private in September 1915. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in December 1916 and promoted Lieutenant on May 1917. The son of William and Margaret Rannard of Maylands, Western Australia, it was his wife Edith, who chose his inscription.