A fine and rare Badge for Sir Alfred Butt’s Invitation to Victoria Cross holder’s, as issued in 1918, to all living recipient’s of the Victoria Cross, this one being engraved and awarded to Sergeant C.W. Train, V.C., 2nd/14th County of London Batt...

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Description:

A fine and rare Badge for Sir Alfred Butt’s Invitation to Victoria Cross holder’s, as issued in 1918, to all living recipient’s of the Victoria Cross, this one being engraved and awarded to Sergeant C.W. Train, V.C., 2nd/14th County of London Battalion - the London Scottish, London Regiment, Territorial Force, who having seen service out in France from September 1914 with the 1st/14th Battalion, was subsequently serving with the 2nd/14th Battalion in Palestine when he won his Victoria Cross for his gallantry in action when a Corporal at Ein Kerem near Jerusalem on 8th December 1917. His company was unexpectedly engaged at close range by a party of the enemy with two machine-guns and brought to a standstill, Corporal Train on his own initiative rushed forward and engaged the enemy with rifle grenades and succeeded in putting some of the team out of action by a direct hit. He shot and wounded an officer and killed or wounded the remainder of the team. After this he went to the assistance of a comrade who was bombing the enemy from the front and killed one of them who was carrying the second machine-gun out of action.’ He latterly lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Badge for Sir Alfred Butt’s Invitation to Victoria Cross holder’s, silver-gilt, hallmarked for Birmingham with date letter ’t’ for 1918, this one for the personal use of and engraved: ‘510051. SGT: C.W. TRAIN. V.C 2.LONDON SCOTTISH. REG’. It is believed that the badge was intended to be worn as a watch fob in order for the recipient to gain access to the theatre at his pleasure.

Condition: Good Very Fine.

Sir Alfred Butt was the Director of Rationing in the Ministry of Food from 1917 to 1918, being Knighted in 1918. He went on to become Member of Parliament for Balham and Tooting between 1922 and 1936, and was created a Baronet in 1929. However is was as Chairman of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and other theatrical companies, which led Sir Alfred to issue a badge to all living recipient’s of the Victoria Cross to attend the theatre free of charge.

For his part, Charles William Train was born on 21st September 1890, and came from Finsbury Park, London. Train enlisted into the British Army Territorial Force on 11th February 1909 joining as a Private (No.510051) the 14th County of London Battalion - the London Scottish, London Regiment. Mobilised on the outbreak of the Great War, he formed part of ‘A’ Company and left Watford for the Western Front on 14th September 1914, and fought in action at Messines ‘on the never-to-be-forgotten Hallowe’en’ of 31st October 1914. Train then found himself evacuated home suffering from diphtheria in March 1915. He returned to the Western Front in July 1916 by which time the Battle of the Somme was in full swing, and was soon after invalided home again.

On his recovery, Train was then employed drilling recruits at Hove until January 1917, when he was again sent to the front, this time to Egypt where he joined the 2nd/14th Battalion - 2nd London Scottish and saw service in Palestine, where his battalion formed part of the 179th (2/4th London) Brigade in the 60th Division.

It was for his gallantry in action when a Corporal at Ein Kerem near Jerusalem on 8th December 1917 that he won the Victoria Cross, the award being published in the London Gazette for 26th February 1918.

The citation reads as follows: ‘On 8th December 1917 at Ein Kerem near Jerusalem, in Ottoman controlled Palestine, when his company was unexpectedly engaged at close range by a party of the enemy with two machine-guns and brought to a standstill, Corporal Train on his own initiative rushed forward and engaged the enemy with rifle grenades and succeeded in putting some of the team out of action by a direct hit. He shot and wounded an officer and killed or wounded the remainder of the team. After this he went to the assistance of a comrade who was bombing the enemy from the front and killed one of them who was carrying the second machine-gun out of action.’

Train was posted with his battalion to the Western Front in May 1918, and saw active service there from July when it joined the 90th Brigade in the 30th Division. It was while serving in France that he was presented with the insignia of the Victoria Cross by King George V at Headquarters, 2nd Army, Blendecques on 6th August 1918. Train survived the war, and later emigrated to Canada, where he lived in Vancouver, and died on 28th March 1965, being buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Burnaby, British Columbia. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the London Scottish Regimental Museum in London.