Jack Train

Jack Train

Jack Train (28 November 1902 – 16 December 1966) was a British radio & film actor who became very popular during the Second World War.


Born in Plymouth, Train was heard on the BBC radio as voices in many productions, but his characters in the BBC series ITMA (Its That Man Again) with Tommy Handley gave him fame. He appeared in several British films, but none of them were top-rated. He died on 16 December 1966 in London.

In ITMA, the seminal wartime comedy show, he created the great character 'Colonel Chinstrap' an always slightly pickled former Indian Army officer who would arrive belivieving he was being offerd a drink and say 'I don't mind if I do'.

This was based on a real person. Shortly before World War II when he was making a living as an inpressionist on the halls, he was visitng the BBC's chief announcer John Sangge for a chat when the office door opened and in came a slightly bleary-eyed former army man, another friend of Snagge's. They were introduced and the new arrival then turned to Snagge and said:

'John. I've just done the most marvelous piece of business. I've bought a water heater on ten years hire purchase and what the gas company don't know is I am drinking myself to death.'

It was not difficult for Train to turn him into Colonel Chinstarp in ITMA, a show where the actors were encouraged to creat characters from their own personality and experience. There were to be two sequels:

First when the man heard the show he failed to make any connection with himself but commenetd:

'Wonderful character. I knew silly buggers like that in India'.

And then nine yars and five months after the first meeting Train received a telegram from Snagge:


Train made two cameo appearances in the Goon Show, both as Colonel Chinstrap.


* King Arthur Was a Gentleman - 1942
* Its That Man Again - 1943
* Miss London Ltd. - 1943
* Gaiety George - 1946
* Twenty Question Murder Mystery - 1950
* Catacombes - 1965

ITMA Characters & Their Catch-Phrases

* Colonel Chinstrap - (a heavy drinker) - "I don't mind if I do"
* Claude (a Handyman) - "After you Cecil, No after you Claude"
* Funf (a German Spy) - "This is Funf speaking"
* Mark Time (an elderly ditherer) - "I'll have to ask me Dad"
* Lefty (a Gangster)
* Hari Kari (a Japanese )
* Fuss Pot (a fusspot)
* Prattle

NAME= Train, Jack
DATE OF BIRTH=28 November 1902
DATE OF DEATH=16 December 1966

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