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Paving stone will honour bravery of WWI soldier

Cpl Charles William Train, who was born in Finsbury Park, was awarded the Victoria Cross after he 'courageously led an attack on two machine guns' in a battle at Ein Kerem in 1917

08 December, 2017 — By Joe Cooper


A SOLDIER will be commemorated with a memorial paving stone today (Friday) – 100 years after winning the Victoria Cross for “most conspicuous bravery, dash and initiative under heavy fire” in the First World War.

Charles William Train will be honoured at Islington Green as part of a nationwide scheme to ensure past bravery is not forgotten.

He was born in Chatterton Road, Finsbury Park, joining the army at 18 and later being awarded the Victoria Cross after taking on enemies amid machine-gun fire in a battle at Ein Kerem, near Jerusalem, in 1917.

His Victoria Cross citation reads: “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 with a direct hit.

“He then shot at and wounded an officer in command, and with bomb and rifle killed and wounded the remainder of the team. After this he went to the assistance of a comrade who was bombing the enemy from their front and shot at and killed one of the enemy who was carrying the second gun out of action.”

It adds: “His courage and devotion to duty undoubtedly saved his battalion heavy casualties and enabled them to advance to their objective at a time when the situation seemed critical.”

Corporal Train was personally awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V, who presented it to him in the field.

He was later promoted to the rank of sergeant, and following the war in 1919 emigrated to Canada to pursue an agricultural scholarship and later to work in shipping. He died in 1965 in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Councillor Gary Poole, Islington Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “At the risk of his own life, Corporal Train courageously led an attack on two machine guns that saved many lives among his battalion.

“We are honoured to commemorate his bravery 100 years ago, and also to remember the young servicemen and servicewomen who continue to risk their lives for our country today.”

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