Bruce Reynolds was the organiser of the 15 man gang going into history as the Great Train Robbers. His gang robbed the mail train from Glasgow to London in the early hours of August 8, 1963. Even the gang didn’t know there was £2.6million on the train. They did know there was money on the train being transported down to London but this amount was enormous in 1960s when the average wage was £10-£15 per week.
When the driver Jack Mills stopped the train in Ledburn, Bucks one of the gang coshed him and he died soon after a few years. This was all a very shocking act and the public were up in arms.
Reynolds fled with his family to Mexico but when the money run out he had to return and face his jail sentence. Later on he was paroled. He died in his sleep at the age of 81.
Ronald Biggs another Great Train Robber was jailed but escaped and went to Brazil. While he was living there he always sent pictures where he made fun of the police. In those days the police had no guns and kept confronting criminals with bare hands because of their courage even the underworld respected them. If there was a policeman badly attacked or even killed the criminals sprang them. Therefore it is twice as shameful for Ronald Biggs to make fun of them. However, the same story as Reynolds when his money ran out he came crawling back and England was good enough to spend the money on his jail sentence and later on on benefits and housing. While he was in Brazil he had a son who came to England with him. His son campaigned for years to free him because he was so ill and frail. Eventual he achieved it undeservedly so. At the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, Ronald Biggs was not too frail to stick two fingers up. So much for gratitude which proves he did not deserve parole.
Another gangster Freddie Foreman, his son actor Jamie Forman and a villain from South London Dave Courtney were amongst the 300 mourners at St Bartholomew the Great Church at West Smithfield, East London, for an hour long service.