John Henderson Coates was born at Sanden Street, Launceston on 23 Jan 1885. He was the eldest of five children born to mechanical engineer Thomas Coates (1844-1897) and his wife Mary Henderson Potts (1853-1928). John was christened at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Launceston on 19 Feb 1885. John married Gladys May Marsh on 21 Oct 1908. They had one son Ronald in Oct 1911. John followed in his father's footsteps and worked as a railway engineer at the Inveresk workshops. He was a member of the Launceston Silver Railway Band. He died on 22 Mar 1943 and the band took part in his funeral and formed a guard of honour at the Crematorium. John's mother Mary Coates and aunt Dorothy Potts are also pictured in the Family Album.