Jump to content
News Ticker
  • I am now accepting the following payment methods: Card Payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal
  • Latest News

    Recommended Posts

     An apparently uncommon Transport Medal Boer War Isle of Man was just listed in a new announcement by Liverpool Medals (https://www.liverpoolmedals.com/product/transport-medal-boer-war-isle-of-man). 


    The description reads: 


    "Transport Medal, bar S. Africa 1899-1902, George Stanley Costain, the young Purser of S.S. Victorian , later Chief Steward of the Merchant Navy during WW1, Born on the Isle of Man. 


    Officially impressed: “G. S. Costain”


    Confirmed on the medal roll, which notes that he was one of 4 Pursers of the Leyland Line who received the medal, his medal being issued to the Transport Officer at Liverpool on 28th July 1904.


    A further page on the medal roll dated 22nd Feb 1904 provides a nomination for the medal reading:


    “Would you kindly include the following as eligible for the Transport Medal: – Purser, Leyland Line, G.S. Costain, S.S. Victorian, S.A. Clasp.”


    For his services during the Boer War of 1899-1902, Purser Costain received one of 12 medals awarded to the Leyland Line’s ship, S.S. Victorian, as one of her Officers, under command of Master F. Shepherd.


    A rare medal with only 1,822 medals being awarded, it was only issued to the Officers of the ships involved, and excluding the Seamen etc.


    George Stanley Costain, was according to his Merchant Navy records was born in Douglas, on the Isle of Man, on 16th July 1879, the home of his father.


    Some census entries record him as born in Lancs, Liverpool, he appears to have been hanging on to his heritage as a “Manxman” where possible, George maintained on various official records that he was born in Douglas.


    His father Robert Costain (Born 1840), shared the same profession, being born in Douglas, the Isle of Man he came to Liverpool through work as a Ship’s Steward, where he met George’s Mother, Sarah, who had come to Liverpool from her home of Bangor, County Down, Ireland.

    After retirement from the sea his father was a Pub or “Public House” Manager in Liverpool.




    During the Boer War in South Africa, as a young Purser of about 19-20 years old George served on board the requisitioned S.S. Victorian of the Leyland Line.


    From the 23rd November 1899, Victorian was Transport Number 66. On 3rd December 1900 she left South Africa carrying 199 Prisoners of War to Saint Helena, arriving there on 11th December.


    It was reported that later on, on 16th January 1902, the Victorian arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada via Cape Verde to embark a detachment of the Canadian Mounted Rifles over to South Africa, and that she was to leave a week later. However, another note records that in January 1902, the Victorian had left South Africa carrying 77 POWs to St Helena, arriving there on 10th February.


    Her last Journey seems to be on 9th July 1902, departing South Africa carrying 27 Officers, 650 Men, and 506 horses back home to Southampton. 

    The Gloucester Citizen recalls:


    The S.S. VIctorian left Cape Town for England on July 9th, having on board, among others, the 3rd Battalion Gloucester Regiment, Captain J. Menzies, 2nd Glosters, and 100 Reservists.”


    Also on board was “50 Hants Imperial Yeomen, sailed for England on the S.S. Victorian.”


    The Admiralty finally returned her back to the Leyland Line on 1st August 1902, after 534 days of service throughout the war.




    After the end of the Boer War, George continued working in his career with the Merchant Navy.


    He would take part in World War 1 as a member of the Merchant Navy.


    Crew Lists for 1915, placed him on Board the ship Caledonian, a Cruiser Liner of the Leyland Line as Chief Steward under Master J.C. Carnon.


    On 7th February 1916 the ship arrived in Egypt landing troops.


    During 1926, George was taken in to the Seaman’s Hospital at Royal Albert Docks in London, where he died on 29th July 1926."


    The photos accompanying the listing are shown below, They can be zoomed for additional details: 






    Edited by Rusty Greaves
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hi Rusty,


    Excellent thread  and medal.


    I'm fortunate to have one in my collection , must still do research on the recipient









    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Create New...

    Important Information

    We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.