Trust History

The grants provided by the Trust are funded by the investment of the legacy of Charles Pain (1901 – 1971)

Charles Pain

Arthur Charles Davy Pain

Born Exmouth 23rd June 1901, died Exmouth 27th August 1971

Charles was educated at Radley College, Abingdon, and Clare College, Cambridge. Upon graduating he declined to join the family business and in 1923 opted for logging with elephants in Burma. After recovering from a serious workplace injury he then turned his hand to prospecting in the Mogok mineral fields of Sagaing district, Mandalay, and not only did he gain a formidable reputation as a prospector, but also as an astute dealer in precious stones. His greatest achievement, which gained him international acclaim, was the discovery of a hitherto unknown mineral which ultimately was named Painite in his honour:
During the 1942-45 Japanese occupation of Burma, Charles became involved in the resistance movement – speaking fluent Burmese and being well respected by the indigenous people. About this period of his life he was most unforthcoming.
After the war he became increasingly disillusioned with the Nationalist Government of the newly independent Burma and, at some time, acquired a major holding in the Britannia Biscuit Company, India. In fact it was shares in this company which were earmarked for the foundation of the Pain Trust with regular dividends becoming its main source of income, but the big times arrived when the shares were sold to a multinational company and the not insubstantial sum was made available to the Trust in sterling, and suitably invested.
In 1960 he returned to England settling in Exmouth at Cranford House. Charles then devoted much of his time to various sporting activities, being onetime President of the Henley Regatta (having been a keen oarsman at Cambridge) and also becoming a member of the MCC and the LTA.
In late 1970 he suffered a severe heart attack and was told that from then on it would have to be “slippers and armchair only”. This was a complete anathema to his view of life and it was ‘business as usual’, with a fatal heart attack the following year.
He bequeathed to the National History Museum, London, his not inconsiderable collection of precious stones (including the unique Painites) some of which are on permanent display.

Why an elephant?

The elephant logo is a reminder that had Charles Pain not travelled to Burma to start his career, the Trust would not exist.