John Costain

RBS remembers



John Costain

Bank: Isle of Man Banking Co

Place of work: Head Office, Douglas

Died: 12 March 1918

John Frederick Costain was born on 2 January 1899, the youngest son of Thomas Costain, a tailor, and his wife Mary. In December 1914 he went to work for Isle of Man Bank as apprentice at its Port St Mary branch. He was transferred to the bank's Douglas head office in January 1916. Outside work, he taught at Ballabeg Wesleyan Sunday School, and also served as its assistant secretary and the chapel's organist.

In February 1917, shortly after his 18th birthday, Costain joined the army. Due to his young age, he was initially posted to a Training Reserve Battalion, before becoming a Private in The King's (Liverpool Regiment). He was posted to France in February 1918.

Private Costain was killed in France on 12 March 1918, when a piece of shrapnel struck a box of hand bombs and blew them up. He was 19 years old.

Costain's former manager at the bank later wrote to his parents, remarking 'how we sorrow for one whose memory we shall treasure. His unassuming, kindly and gentle nature has left with us not only feelings of respect and esteem but also those of regard and affection. Your son, believe me - I had exceptionable opportunities of judging - was a lad of bright intelligence and possessed rare gifts.'

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