Alexander Pantelis Coustas
Temporary Staff Sergeant Major/ Transport Warrant Officer, Royal Army Service Corps
Alexander Pantelis Coustas was born on the 5th December 1874 as the fourth child of five children of Timothee, a Greek merchant, and Josephine Coustas, a Prussian woman. After his parents’ divorce in 1887, Alexander lived in Germany for a period of time before he attended Alleyn’s for approximately two years between September 1888 and July 1890, living at Niagara House on East Dulwich Road. Upon leaving school, Alexander studied as a Bachelor of Arts at the University of London where he graduated in 1900.
In 1904, he was registered as a Modern Languages Master at the Berwick-upon-Tweed Grammar School. On the 1911 Census, he was identified as an “educational coach”, living in Carshalton, Surrey with his mother and younger sister.
Upon the outbreak of the First World War, Alexander served in the Royal Army Service Corps as a Temporary Staff Sergeant Major and Transport Warrant Officer, entering France on the 30th January 1915, and surviving the course of the war. For his service, he was decorated with the Victory, British and 15 Star medals. Following the end of the First World War, Alexander was trained as a solicitor by J.J. Stavridi and partnered with a man called Demetrius Cassavetti to form Cassavetti, Coustas & Co Solicitors. By 1920, he was living in a townhouse in Kensington Gardens Square, Westminster, after marrying Jane Michalinos in Greece.
After short stints of residence in prestigious areas such as Addison Gardens and Southampton Street, Alexander settled down with his wife and his daughter, Evelyn - a classical ballerina - by 1947 in Palmeston Mansions in Fulham where he stayed for 10 years. In 1967, Alexander Coustas died on the Isle of Man at the age of 93.
With thanks to Louise Keytel for the family information provided about this soldier.