Discovered the Badshot Lea Long Barrow.
Rankine was a leading Mesolithic archaeologist, whose work included many important sites, both in Surrey and other parts of Britain. His family roots were in Scotland, but he was brought up in Surrey and went to school in Dorking. He later became a schoolmaster at Badshot Lea (near Farnham).
He was an active member of the Surrey Archaeological Society, and was an Honorary Editor between 1947-1949. The Society described him as having a gift for arousing the interest in others by his manner of explanation and description of both the natural and archaeological features of the county.
A Mesolithic habitation site with abundant flint implements and dwelling remains was discovered by Rankine on land at the Farnham sewage works. It was a site of great importance and he excavated it between 1929-1935, in conjunction with Dr J G D Clark. The report was published in the journals Antiquity and the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, as well as the Surrey Archaeological Collections.
In 1936 he discovered the only Neolithic Long Barrow known in Surrey at Badshot Lea. Subsequent excavations with Alexander Keiler and Stuart Piggott uncovered pottery and tools, which are held in Guildford Museum.
In 1956 he published The Mesolithic of Southern Britain.