However he crashed several cars and his chances of becoming a driver quickly faded. Read promised not to reveal their identities. The other arrests were made by Sgt Stan Davis and Probationary Constable Gordon 'Charlie' Case.[50]. The rest was long gone. On 3 December 1963, which happened to be the same day that Roy James was taken into custody, the police received an anonymous tip directing them to the money in the phone box. He became arguably the most renowned head of the Flying Squad in its history. The gang that carried out the robbery consisted of 15 criminals predominantly from south London: Gordon Goody, Charlie Wilson, Buster Edwards, Bruce Reynolds, Roy James, John Daly, Roger Cordrey, Jimmy White, Bob Welch, Tommy Wisbey, Jim Hussey, and Ronnie Biggs, as well as Harry Smith and Danny Pembroke, who were never charged due to the lack of evidence against them, and one still unknown, plus the train driver they nicknamed "Pop". He was with his friend, William Boal who was helping him lie low in return for the payment of old debts. When mastermind Bruce Reynolds was arrested in 1968, he allegedly told arresting officer Tommy Butler that those sentences had had a detrimental effect. This documentary was shown in cinemas and on demand in October 2014. There were also ten-shilling notes in batches of £250. This was to deter collector/souvenir hunters. [97] He was 26 years old at the time of the robbery. Once the robbers had entered the carriage, the staff could put up no effective resistance and there was no police officer or security guard on board to assist them. [89][page needed][non-primary source needed][unreliable source?]. 8 August 1963: Britain wakes up to news of the biggest robbery in the country’s history. The £5 notes were of two different types, because in 1957 the British Government had begun to replace the large white notes with smaller blue ones. At the time, the severity of the sentences caused some surprise. [citation needed] He could not be charged because of lack of evidence; there were no fingerprints or identifiable marks anywhere. Piers Paul Read, in The Train Robbers, claimed that the police were feeling the pressure because although they had caught many of the robbers, they had failed to recover much of the money. Goody alleged that he found out McKenna's name only when he saw it written inside his spectacles case. The Great Train Robbery is a 1903 American silent short Western film written, produced, and directed by Edwin S. Porter, a former Edison Studios cameraman. He was traumatised by his track-side assault and subsequent rough treatment and never recovered from his ordeal. After realising the danger in settling near the Wilsons in Montreal, they went to live in Vancouver, and then went to Nice, France. [11][page needed][unreliable source? Cordrey was the first of the robbers released, but his share of the theft had almost entirely been recovered by the police. When asked by a reporter after the sentencing of Reynolds whether that was the end of it, Butler replied that it was not over until Biggs was caught. He was born on 30 June 1932 to Bill and Mabel Wilson in Battersea. ][non-primary source needed]. Mills and Whitby were then brought into the carriage, handcuffed together and put down beside the staff.[9]. The press interpreted this information as a 30-mile (50 km) radius—a half-hour drive in a fast car. He went back to being a florist at his sister's business upon his release. The Bournemouth police were tipped off by Ethel Clark, who unfortunately for Boal and Cordrey was the widow of a former police officer, when Boal and Cordrey paid rent for a garage in Tweedale Road, off Castle Lane West, three months in advance, all in used ten-shilling notes. Thomas Kett, assistant inspector in charge of the train from Carlisle to Euston was also in the carriage. "Killing Charlie" by Wensley Clarkson, with Part 2: Inside and Outside providing details of Wilson's escape from prison. The locomotive's second crew member, known as the secondman or "fireman", was 26-year-old David Whitby, also from Crewe. [28][29] He is survived by his son Nick. Site accessed on 21 January 2018. The series is distributed worldwide by Kew Media. The deal done with Pembroke caused outrage in the police hierarchy. He was rejected by the Royal Navy because of poor eyesight, and then tried to become a foreign correspondent, but his highest achievement in that vein was to become a clerk at the Daily Mail. On 10 April 1966 a new friend recognised him from photos in a newspaper and informed police. By August 1963, three HVP carriages were equipped with alarms, bars over the windows and bolts and catches on the doors, but at the time of the robbery, these carriages were out of service, so a reserve carriage (M30204M) without those features had to be used. £55,000 had been paid as a package deal to get him out of the UK. 50 years ago this year, in 1963, Britain saw what is possibly still its most audacious crime; a gang of robbers stopped a London bound Royal Mail train and netted a record haul of 2.6 million pounds (estimated, as the film tells us, at 41 million in today's money) The team behind it became the countries most wanted criminals on the run, they were front page news - folkloric outlaws … [11][page needed][unreliable source? A Mercedes driven by Amber Bessone, the pregnant 28-year-old daughter of well-known hairdresser Raymond Bessone (Mr Teasy Weasy) crossed a damaged section of the guard rail and slammed into Field's oncoming Porsche. Who could be behind it? On 2 July 2009, Biggs was denied parole by Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who considered Biggs to be still "wholly unrepentant",[63][64][page needed] but was released from custody on 6 August, two days before his 80th birthday, on 'compassionate grounds'. Pembroke had five children, and his son Danny Jr., admitted to his involvement in a Channel Four documentary in August 2019. It has been suggested[20] that a known associate of the convicted robbers, Sammy Osterman, was part of the gang, and his "Ulsterman" soubriquet was simply the result of mishearing his surname. [11][page needed][unreliable source? Roy James Actor(s): Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb. In the epilogue, Reynolds describes what happened to some of the robbers. Gerald MacArthur died aged 70 on 21 July 1996. The second carriage, behind the engine, was known as the HVP (high-value packages) coach, which carried large quantities of money and registered mail for sorting. ", "Great Train Robber Gordon Goody dies aged 86", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – Charlie Wilson (Charles Frederick Wilson)", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – Brian Arthur Field", "The quiet Great Train Robber reveals identity of the gang's mystery insider", "True identity of the Great Train Robber known as 'The Ulsterman' finally revealed", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – Roy John James", "Train robber John Daly won respect as Launceston dustman", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – John Thomas Daly", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – James 'Jimmy' Edward White", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – Roger John Cordrey", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – Robert Alfred Welch", "James Hussey: Great Train Robber who made a disputed confession on his deathbed", "UK 'Great Train Robber' Bruce Reynolds dies at 81", "Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds dies aged 81", "Great Train Robber who got away will be named", "The Great Train Robbery: A Tale of Two Thieves - The Economic Voice", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – William (Bill) Gerald Boal", "William Boal: The Great Train Robbery's forgotten victim", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – Leonard Dennis Field", "Thames Valley Police – The Great Train robbery – John Denby Wheater", "New bid to clear name of Great Train Robber Bill Boal", "Coolopolis: Montreal's connection to the Great Train Robbery", "Statement from Michael Biggs made in London", "What became of the Great Train Robbers – News – London Evening Standard", "BBC Sport – Bernie Ecclestone – the man, the myths and the motors", "Great Train Robbery: New bid to clear name of Bill Boal 43 years after he died in prison protesting his innocence", "UK | England | Norfolk | Train robber Biggs wins freedom", Great Train robber's grandson escapes jail, "The England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index shows that David Whitby's death was registered in the Jan-Mar 1972 quarter, for the Crewe District", "Interview with David Whitby's sister, Nancy Barkley", Ronnie Biggs insists man convicted over Great Train Robbery who died in jail 'was innocent': Bill Boal was one of 12 men caged over the £2.5million ambush that stunned the world 50 years ago on Thursday, "BBC Democracy Live - 1963: a year to remember", "Pressure make Network Rail change bridge name – The Railway Magazine Magazine", "Germany's contribution to the Great Train Robbery's fame", "rare brazilian euro jazz bossa breaks on LP & CD", "The Great Train Robbery – A Robber's Tale", "Beeching – The Greatest Train Robber :: The Foundry Group", "A reversal for the great railway robbery", "Great railway revival as Beeching's axed lines open again 50 years on", "Emotional release for son as Ronnie Biggs is officially freed", The day the Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds was arrested,, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Articles needing additional references from August 2011, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2016, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from August 2020, Articles lacking reliable references from August 2020, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from August 2020, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from December 2014, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Rail transport articles in need of updating, Articles lacking reliable references from June 2019, Articles needing additional references from August 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Theft of £2.6 million (the equivalent of £55 million in 2019), 11 men sentenced (Bill Boal and Lennie Field later exonerated) to terms up to 30 years, Key informant and organiser of the mock purchase of Leatherslade Farm, the gang's hideout, Solicitor's clerk and organised the defence of Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards in previous court cases, Contact with Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards arranged through another man who contacted Brian Field, Brother in law of Reynolds and associate of South West Gang, Generally solitary thief who knew Reynolds, 4 September 1963; Voluntary return to UK jurisdiction 7 May 2001, Escaped 8 July 1965; Released 7 August 2009 (Served 3,875 days; 10 years 10 months), 30 years (25 years for conspiracy to rob and 30 years for armed robbery), 20 years (20 years for conspiracy to rob and various receiving stolen goods charges), 25 years (20 years for conspiracy to rob and 5 years for obstructing justice), The 1966 German three-part TV mini series, In 1988, Buster Edwards' experiences were made into the comedy-drama, A comedy version was staged in the 1966 film.

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