Cookies on the Isle of Man Bank website Close

Privacy Statement: How we use cookies
Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.

We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. For more information on cookies and how we use them, please visit our website.

All were 'boys of exceptional promise' who back in Douglas had worked side-by-side in the bank’s bill room, John Costain and Joseph Phillips as apprentice clerks and John Corkill as their manager.

When plans were laid to erect a Manx war memorial on Harris Promenade in 1924 our manager Thomas Cubbon, who had corresponded through the war years with many of our staff at the front, stepped forward to serve as treasurer to the committee and the bank itself contributed substantially to the cost of the memorial.

John Corkill

John Edward Corkill was born in Douglas on 15 February 1893, the only son of John Corkill, a policeman, and his wife Eleanor. In July 1910, when he was 17 years old, he joined the bank as an apprentice at our Port St Mary branch. John moved to our Regent Street branch in Douglas in November 1912, where he completed his four-year apprenticeship in July 1914, just a few days before war was declared. In September 1914 he moved to head office in Douglas.

In May 1915 John wrote to his manager asking permission, since he had some experience of driving, to join the army’s Motor Transport section. Permission was granted and John quickly joined up, becoming a Private in the Army Service Corps. He had only been in uniform for a few weeks when, on 16 August 1915, he was accidentally crushed between a motor lorry and a tree during training at Colchester. He was 22 years old and was the first member of our staff to be killed during the First World War.

John Costain

John Frederick Costain was born in Arbory on 2 January 1899, the youngest son of Thomas Costain, a tailor, and his wife Mary. In December 1914, like John Corkill before him, came to work for us as apprentice at our Port St Mary branch. He transferred to head office in Douglas 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, John 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 eventually sent to France in February 1918, but was killed just weeks later on 12 March 1918, when a piece of shrapnel struck a box of hand grenades in his trench and blew them up. He was 19 years old. John's former manager at the bank later wrote to his parents, remarking 'how we sorrow for one whose memory we shall treasure….remembering how he went to the war, willingly, steady and brave, resolved to do his part.'

Joseph Phillips

Joseph (Joe) Ambrose Phillips was born in Douglas on 20 May 1898, the son of Joseph Phillips, a tailor, and his wife Jane. In June 1914 when he was 16, Joe joined our bank as an apprentice at our Douglas head office. He had not yet finished his apprenticeship when, in January 1917, he left his job with us to go on military service, enlisting in the 15th (Civil Service Rifles) Battalion of the London Regiment. Joe was sent out to France in May 1917. The week before he left he popped into the bank to catch up with his former colleagues.

Joe was present at the retreat from Cambrai, during which he lost his kit but was otherwise unharmed. He was killed in action in France on 20 March 1918, when a fired shell exploded prematurely. Joe’s family did not learn of his death until May 1918, but had already grown anxious having not received a recent letter from him.