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Encyclopedia > Great Train Robbery (1963)

The Great Train Robbery is the name given to a £2.6 million train robbery committed on 8 August 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England.[1] The bulk of the stolen money was not recovered. This was probably the largest robbery by value, in British history, until the Securitas depot robbery of 2006 in Kent. The Great Train Robbery may refer to: a real event: The Great Train Robbery took place near Linslade in the United Kingdom in 1963 a film: The Great Train Robbery as directed by Edwin S. Porter in 1903. ... Train robbery was a crime that occurred mainly in the middle-to-late 19th century. ... is the 220th day of the year (221st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ... Ledburn is a hamlet in the parish of Mentmore, in Buckinghamshire, England. ... Mentmore Village Green. ... Buckinghamshire (abbreviated Bucks) is one of the home counties in South East England. ... The Securitas depot robbery was a robbery which took place in the early hours of 22 February 2006, between 01:00 and 02:15 UTC in England, an operation that succeeded in stealing the largest cash amount in British crime history. ... For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Robbery

The Glasgow to London travelling post office (TPO) train was stopped by a red light at Sears Crossing. The signals had been tampered with, unknown to the driver, with a glove placed over the green light and a six-volt battery temporarily powering the red one. The co-driver David Whitby went to call the signalman only to find the telephone cables had been cut. Upon returning to the train, he was thrown down the embankment of the railway track.[2] British Rail TPO vehicle NSA 80390 on display at Doncaster Works open day on 27th July 2003. ...


One problem the robbers encountered was that the diesel train was different from the local trains, making it difficult to operate. One of the robbers had spent months befriending railway staff and familiarising himself with the layout and operation but it was decided instead to use an experienced train driver, Stan Agate, to drive the train from the stopping point at the signals to the bridge after uncoupling the unnecessary carriages. Unfortunately, Stan Agate (who was never traced or linked with the robbery) was unable to operate the train and it was quickly decided that the original driver, Jack Mills, would move the train down the track. The high-value carriage was decoupled from the others and driven a further half a mile to Bridego Bridge where the robbers' Land Rovers lay in wait. Stan Agate's participation in the robbery was Ronnie Biggs' only task and when it became obvious that they were useless they were banished to the awaiting ex-army truck to help load the mail bags. Jack Mills was the driver of the train that was the centrepiece of the great train robbery of 1963. ... Land Rover was the name of one of the first British civilian all-terrain utility vehicles, first produced by Rover in 1947. ... Ronnie Biggs (born Ronald Arthur Biggs August 8, 1929 in Londons East End) is an English prisoner who is known for escaping from prison after his minor role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and for being on the run for many years. ...


A 15-member gang, led by Bruce Reynolds and including Biggs, Charlie Wilson, Jimmy Hussey, Roy James, Jimmy White, Tommy Wisbey, Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards, one of whom was an ex-British Army paratrooper, boarded the train and began to unload the money sacks into waiting vehicles on the road below the bridge. Although no guns were used, the train driver was hit on the head with an iron bar, causing a black eye and facial bruising. The assailant was one of two members of the gang who was never identified. Frank Williams (at the time a Detective Inspector) claims to have traced the man, but he could not be charged because of lack of evidence. Mills recovered but had constant trauma headaches the rest of his life. He died in 1970 from leukemia. Bruce Reynolds was the brains behind the Great train robbery in 1963 in which a gang robbed £2. ... Buster Edwards (born Ronald Edwards) (1932 - November 28th 1994 was a former boxer, nightclub owner, and member of the gang that committed the Great Train Robbery. ... Leukemia or leukaemia (Greek leukos λευκός, white; aima αίμα, blood) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ...


£2,631,784 was stolen in used £1, £5 and £10 notes, the equivalent of £40 million (US $80 million) adjusted for 2006 inflation.[3]


Investigation and capture

After receiving an anonymous tip-off, police went to Leatherslade Farm near Oakley, Buckinghamshire five days later. There they found fingerprints of the robbers - including those on a Monopoly board game, used after the robbery but with real money. Oakley is a village and Civil Parish in Buckinghamshire, England with a population of 1,059 (2001 Census) and area of 2,206 acres (8. ... This article is about the board game. ...


The first gang member caught was Roger Cordrey and his friend who helped him to conceal his share of the stolen money, William Boal. They were lying low in a rented furnished flat above a florist shop in Wimborne Road, Moordown, Bournemouth. Bournemouth CID were tipped-off by police widow Ethel Clark, when Boal and Cordey paid rent for a garage, three months' up-front, all in used 10 shilling notes. Their arrests were made in Tweedale Road off Castle Lane West.[4] , Bournemouth ( ) is a large town and tourist resort, situated on the south coast of England. ... This article is about coinage. ...


Thirteen of the gang members were caught. They were tried, sentenced on 16 April 1964 and imprisoned. is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ...


Ronnie Biggs escaped from prison 15 months into his sentence, with a considerable amount of the money. He escaped while he was outside training. Biggs scaled a 30ft wall with three other prisoners using a ladder thrown from the outside during the prisoners' afternoon exercise. Biggs climbed the ladder and lowered himself into a waiting van. They were driven from the prison in three cars. Biggs settled in Adelaide, Australia where he worked as a builder and lived a relatively normal life. He was tipped off by persons unknown and moved to Melbourne, later escaping to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after police discovered his Melbourne address. Biggs could not be extradited from Brazil because he was about to father a Brazilian child. As a result he lived openly in Rio for many years, untouchable by British authorities. For other uses, see Adelaide (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre (also known as The CBD). ... This article is about the Brazilian city. ...


Charlie Wilson escaped in August 1964[5] and took up residence outside Montreal, Canada on Rigaud Mountain. In the upper-middle-class neighbourhood, where the large, secluded properties are surrounded by trees, Wilson lived under the name Ronald Alloway, a name borrowed from a Fulham shopkeeper. He joined an exclusive golf club and participated in his local community activities. It was only when he invited his brother-in-law over from the UK for Christmas that Scotland Yard was able to track him down and recapture him. They waited three months before making their move, in hopes that Wilson would lead them to Reynolds, the last unapprehended suspect. Wilson was arrested in February 1968. Many in Rigaud petitioned to allow his wife and five daughters to stay in the Montreal area.[1] This article needs cleanup. ... Rigaud is a municipality in southwestern Quebec, Canada in Vaudreuil-Soulanges at the junction of the Ottawa River (Riviere des Ouatouais) and the Rigaud River. ... New Scotland Yard, London New Scotland Yard, it blowwsssss often referred to simply as Scotland Yard or The Yard, is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for policing Greater London (although not the City of London itself). ...


Aftermath

In May 2001 Biggs, 71, unable to meet mounting medical costs in Brazil after three strokes, voluntarily returned to England. Biggs was aware that he would be arrested and jailed. After detention and a short court hearing he was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. For other uses, see Stroke (disambiguation). ...


The story of Ronald "Buster" Edwards, who fled to Mexico but later surrendered to authorities, was dramatised in the 1988 film, Buster, which starred Phil Collins in the title role. Edwards became a flower seller outside Waterloo Station on release from prison. He committed suicide in 1994. Buster is the name of a 1988 movie starring musician Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb and Sheila Hancock. ... For other uses, see Phil Collins (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Waterloo station (disambiguation). ...


One of the post office carriages involved is preserved at Nene Valley Railway at Peterborough Cambridgeshire, and is being restored. The locomotive was no: D326 (later no: 40126). It was involved in a number of serious operating incidents throughout its operational life.[citation needed] Wansford station viewed from the road A view of the station at Peterborough Swedish B Class No. ... This article is about the city in the United Kingdom. ... No. ...


The robbery was investigated by Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Slipper of the Metropolitan Police (known in the press as "Slipper of the Yard"), who became so involved with its aftermath that he continued to hunt many of the escaped robbers in retirement. He believed Biggs should not be released after returning to the UK in 2001 and he often appeared in the media to comment on any news item connected to the robbery before his death on 24 August 2005 at the age of 81. Chief Superintendent (Ch Supt/CSP; colloquially Chief Super) is a senior rank in the Police Forces. ... Jack Slipper (Born in London, England on April 20, 1924, Died August 24, 2005) was a Detective Chief Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police in London. ... Metropolitan Police redirects here. ... New Scotland Yard, London New Scotland Yard, it blowwsssss often referred to simply as Scotland Yard or The Yard, is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for policing Greater London (although not the City of London itself). ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As a result of this robbery, the British Railways rule book was amended. If stopped by a red signal drivers had previously been required to contact the signaller by telephone - requiring them to leave the driving cab. After the change, drivers of mail trains were no longer allowed to leave the cab at any red signals and were to always keep their cab doors locked. These rules remained in force until the retirement of mail trains in the UK. British Railways (BR), later rebranded as British Rail, ran the British railway system, from the nationalisation of the Big Four British railway companies in 1948 until its privatisation in stages between 1994 and 1997. ... A signal is a mechanical or electrical device that indicates to train drivers or engineers information about the state of the line ahead, and therefore whether he or she must stop or may proceed, or instructions on what speed the train may go. ...


In popular culture

  • The book The Robbers' Tale by Peta Fordham tells the story. Published by Hodder & Stoughton, London 1965.
  • The robbery was mentioned in the 1965 film adaptation of Ian Fleming's Thunderball.
  • A comedy version was staged in the film The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery
  • The 1965 film, "Help!", featuring the Beatles, snidely references The Great Train Robbery during the scene "Scotland Yard".
  • The 1967 film Robbery starring Stanley Baker portrayed events similar to the Great Train Robbery.
  • The Sex Pistols recorded two songs (No One Is Innocent and Belsen was A Gas) with Ronald Biggs on vocals
  • The 1978 Book The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read recounts a very detailed version of the story based on an exclusive account given by seven of the then-parolled robbers. The book reveals the funding source for the heist as former SS officer Otto Skorzeny and other Germans who had escaped to South America and other countries after the war. Published by W.H. Allen and Company, 1978. ISBN 0-397-01283-7
  • Paul Hardcastle released a song in 1985 titled "Just For Money" which is about the robbery.
  • In 1988 Buster Edwards experiences were made into the comedy-drama Buster, starring Phil Collins.
  • In 2005, on the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Karl Kennedy compared Paul Robinson to Ronnie Biggs.
  • A popular skit from the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore deals with the efforts to catch the criminals behind the robbery.
  • British group, Alabama 3, recorded a tribute to Bruce Reynolds about the robbery, 'Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds' on which he appears, on their 2005 album, Outlaw.
  • American rock band, Mountain, recorded the song "The Great Train Robbery" on their Nantucket Sleighride album, circa 1971.

Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the author. ... For other topics with this name, see Thunderball. ... The Great St Trinians Train Robbery was a comedy film set in the fictional St Trinians School, made in 1966, a few years after the great train robbery had taken place. ... Sir Stanley Baker (February 8, 1927 - June 28, 1976) was a Welsh actor. ... The Sex Pistols in 1977. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop... Otto Skorzeny (June 12, 1908 – July 6, 1975[1]) was a Standartenführer[2] in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he is known as the commando leader who rescued Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from imprisonment after his overthrow. ... Buster is the name of a 1988 comedy-drama film starring musician Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb and Sheila Hancock. ... For other uses, see Phil Collins (disambiguation). ... The first TIME magazine cover devoted to soap operas, dated January 12, 1976. ... This article is about the Australian soap opera. ... Karl Raymond Kennedy is a fictional character in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, portrayed by Alan Fletcher, who joined the cast in 1994. ... Paul James Robinson is a fictional character in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Stefan Dennis. ... Album of Beyond the Fringe Published by EMI in 1996 Beyond the Fringe was a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller. ... For other persons named Peter Cook, see Peter Cook (disambiguation). ... Dudley Stuart John Moore, CBE (April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2002), was an Academy-Award nominated British comedian, actor and musician. ... Alabama 3 is a British acid house, blues, country and gospel music band founded in Brixton, London, in 1989. ... Outlaw (2005) is the fifth studio album by British band, Alabama 3. ...

References

  1. ^ "The Great Train Robbery, 1963", Time (magazine). Retrieved on 2007-08-21. "The 15 thieves who held up the Royal Mail train between Glasgow and London on August 8, 1963 netted 120 bags packed with the equivalent of $7 million and were treated like folk heroes by the press and public. Although the operation took 15 minutes, it was not as smooth as people remember it. It wasn't non-violent, for one thing (the driver of the train was hit on the head and never fully recovered); nor was it carefully executed (the thieves left fingerprints everywhere). The case has lived on in memory because of the adventures of one of its minor players, Ronnie Biggs, whose escape from prison and long years of eluding justice were constant fodder for the British newspapers. Readers were fascinated that a small-time hoodlum could be part of the biggest heist in British history and the only one to get away with it. Biggs eventually gave himself up in 2001, returning voluntarily from Brazil to serve the 28 years remaining in his sentence. Despite pleas for leniency, Biggs remains incarcerated and in failing health." 
  2. ^ "British Transport Police History: The Great Train Robbery", British Transport Police. Retrieved on 2007-07-25. "Late on Wednesday 7 August 1963 the "Up Special" train left Glasgow en-route for Euston. The train was a TPO (Travelling Post Office) and consisted of a number of carriages in which Post Office staff sorted the mail and parcels en-route to London. The second carriage from the front of the train was a HVP (High Value Package) where registered mail was sorted. Much of this consisted of cash. Usually the value of these items would have been in the region of £300,000 but, because there had been a Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland, the total on the day of the robbery was £2.3 million. (About £30 million today)" 
  3. ^ Patrick Bellamy. "Ronald Biggs & the Great Train Robbery", Crime Library. Retrieved on 2007-07-25. "'The Great Train Robbery' of 1963 was a daring crime that had more in common with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid than a band of small-time London criminals. It not only captivated the world's media and public, it also succeeded in latertransforming one of the gang, Ronald Arthur 'Ronnie' Biggs, into a folk hero despite his minor role in the whole robbery." 
  4. ^ "Historic fiver’s up for sale". Retrieved on 2007-11-01. 
  5. ^ "Great Train Robber Escapes from Jail.", BBC. Retrieved on 2007-08-12. "A massive manhunt is underway across Britain after one of the so-called Great Train Robbers escaped from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham. Charlie Wilson, 32, was apparently freed by a gang of three men who broke into the jail in the early hours of the morning." 

Coordinates: 51°52′N 0°40′W / 51.867, -0.667 TIME redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 220th day of the year (221st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ... The British Transport Police (BTP) is a non-Home Office national police service responsible for policing the railway system throughout Great Britain. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 219th day of the year (220th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ... The Crime Library is an online collection of feature stories about crimes, criminals, and trials by various writers. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 Western film that tells the story of bank robber Butch Cassidy (played by Paul Newman) and his partner The Sundance Kid (played by Robert Redford). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Great Train Robbery (1963) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (757 words)
The Great Train Robbery was the name given to a train robbery that was committed on August 8, 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.
Although no guns were used in the robbery, the train driver, Jack Mills, was struck on the head with an iron bar.
The robbery was investigated by Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Slipper of the Metropolitan Police (widely known in the Press as "Slipper of the Yard"), who became so involved with its aftermath that he continued to hunt down many of the escaped robbers in retirement.
Train robbery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (254 words)
Train robbery was a type of robbery, where the first goal was to steal any money being delivered as cargo on trains.
Trains carrying payroll shipments were for this reason a major target.
If the outlaw was unsatisfied with the goods, passengers of the train's carriages who would be generally unarmed would be held at gunpoint and made to hand over any valuables they were carrying, usually in the form of jewelry or currency.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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