][non-primary source needed] Field was successful in arranging bail for Goody and Charlie Wilson. ", "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, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Great_Train_Robbery_(1963)&oldid=1001010908, 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. Butler worked long hours and expected all members of the squad to do the same. None of those arrested informed on this person, although it was claimed that he had completely disobeyed instructions and used violence during the robbery. Ultimately though, it was decided that it would be better to use an experienced train driver to move the locomotive and the first two carriages from the signals to the bridge after uncoupling the carriages containing the rest of the sorters and the ordinary mail.  In 1993, he shot and wounded his father in-law, pistol-whipped and partially strangled his ex-wife, after they had returned their children for a day's outing.  He is survived by his son Nick. They called Field to a meeting on Tuesday, where he was forced to admit that he had failed to "torch" the farm.  This process saw them get 18 names to be passed on to detectives to match up with the list being prepared from fingerprints collected at Leatherslade. Several weeks later, the police went to Field's house to interview him. He escaped detection as he always wore gloves, including at the hideout at the farm, and went outside to the toilet rather than using the one inside the house. As a result, the plan for leaving the farm was brought forward to Friday from Sunday (the crime was committed on Thursday). ][non-primary source needed] It is alleged that the total weight of the bags removed was 2.5 tons, according to former Buckinghamshire police officer John Woolley. Daly had entrusted his money to another crook. He was released again in March 1985 and dedicated himself to helping his wife recover from a mental breakdown. The final changeover had not been completed by the time of the robbery. The Great Train Robbery was the robbery of £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London on the West Coast Main Line in the early hours of 8 August 1963, at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn, near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England. [page needed][unreliable source? Field changed his name to Brian Carlton to disappear. Crichton stated that he did not want to be constrained by what actually happened. A further £36,000 was recovered from Jimmy White's caravan. Other associates (including Ronnie Biggs, a man Reynolds had previously met in jail) were added as the organisation evolved. The ringleaders were sentenced to 30 years in jail. His one regret was that he had the search for the hideout carried out radiating outwards from the scene of the robbery rather than an inwards search from a 30-mile (50 km) perimeter. Chapter 5 describes the Biggs escape from Wandsworth Prison to Paris, Crossing the Line - The Autobiography of a Thief, by Bruce Reynolds, The Great Train Robbery (Crime Archive series) (2008) by Peter Gutteridge (P 54). Despite Pembroke being the man identified as the assailant of the train driver, Jack Mills, by Bruce Reynolds (albeit indirectly), Williams only makes mention of the assailant once in his book. Originally published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf (then, a division of Random House), it is currently published by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The trouble is, Michael Crichton's novel (loosely based on the Great Gold Robbery of 1855) is a straight, quasi-factual affair, whereas the movie aims to be a heist romp and Crichton as a screenwriter and director seems to struggle with this lighter touch.  On 26 July 1989, the two men pleaded guilty and admitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court, London that they were a part of a £500,000 cocaine trafficking ring. It has been suggested 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. After the Edwards family returned to England, the Reynoldses also decided to leave Mexico and go to Canada to potentially join up with the Wilson family, leaving on 6 December 1966. Daly told no one about the robbery as he was told he could face a retrial. (1995)) Dolly Rawlins teams up with several other parolees and make plans to stage a train robbery on horseback. Eight of the gang members and several associates were caught. , The most dangerous of the Great Train Robbers was 'the Silent Man' Charlie Wilson. They waited three months before making their move, in the hope that Wilson would lead them to Reynolds, the last suspect still to be apprehended. The accident occurred as they returned from a visit to Sian's parents in Wales. He was sentenced to six years in jail. The robbers removed all but eight of the 128 sacks from the HVP carriage, which they transferred in about 15–20 minutes to the waiting truck by forming a human chain. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. 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. After supposedly making the necessary arrangements through a madam (actually "Miss Miriam") and charging Fowler the exorbitant price of one hundred fifty guineas for a night-time assignation with a twelve-year-old (the legal age of consent) "fresh," Pierce and Agar are able to make an impression of Fowler's key, which he always carries with him around his neck but takes off and leaves with his clothes (at the request of his virgin) during the assignation. , Authorities regarded Douglas Gordon Goody as the mastermind of the operation. The police then undertook a major search, fanning out from the crime scene after having failed to find any forensic evidence there. In fact, the money was soon seized and spent by predatory gangsters and greedy associates, relatives and lawyers. On Friday 16 August 1963, two people who had decided to take a morning stroll in Dorking Woods discovered a briefcase, a holdall and a camel-skin bag, all containing money. Hatherill and Millen decided to publish photos of the wanted suspects, despite strong protests from Tommy Butler and Frank Williams. Train robbers who were sentenced later, and by different judges, received shorter terms. He was convicted and sentenced to three years. I always want to like The First Great Train Robbery more than I actually do. Jim Hussey was released on 17 November 1975 and married girlfriend Gill (whom he had met just before the robbery). work with Jimmy White and met Buster Edwards at Charlie Richardson's club. He disappeared from the public eye. This recommendation was implemented in 1961, but HVP carriages without alarms were retained in reserve. Henry Fowler contracts syphilis and, too embarrassed to seek medical attention, asks his friend Pierce, as a bachelor and sporting gentleman, to aid him in seeking a remedy: sleeping with a virgin. Thus the proceeds of the greatest cash robbery in British history were quickly used up, with few of the robbers receiving any real long-term benefit. £2,631,684 was stolen (although the police report says £2,595,997). He became arguably the most renowned head of the Flying Squad in its history. The rest was long gone. The train was stopped at Bridego Bridge, and the robbers' "assault force" attacked the 'high-value packages' (HVP) carriage. To ensure his plan's success, Pierce spends more than a year in preparation. He was said to have "a remarkable ability to be invisible, to merge with his surroundings and become the ultimate Mr Nobody." He admitted to visiting the farm on one occasion with Lennie Field, but said he assumed it was an investment of his brother Alexander Field, whom Brian Field had unsuccessfully defended in a recent court case. It is the story of the Great Gold Robbery of 1 Specialist in Crime (1972), Ernest Millen, Specialist in Crime (1972), Ernest Millen, P.208, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (, The Train Robbers (Piers Paul Read) (1978), The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read (1976). Many in Rigaud petitioned that his wife and three daughters be allowed to stay in the Montreal area. Originally published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf (then, a division of Random House), it is currently published by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.  Despite not being in on the robbery, he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years (20 years for conspiracy to rob and five years for obstructing justice), which was later reduced to five.  There were 1,579 notes whose serial numbers were known and the rest of the money was completely untraceable. Director: David Green | Stars: Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb, Stephanie Lawrence. This was not proof of involvement in a conspiracy. When the squad tried to get him to ease the working conditions, Butler was enraged and threatened to send them back to their normal duties. Eighteen months later, Agar's mistress, who has been caught in the act of robbing a drunk, informs on Agar to escape imprisonment. The rest had gone on legal fees and expenses.. Just after 03:00 on 8 August, the driver, 58-year-old Jack Mills from Crewe, stopped the train on the West Coast Main Line at a red signal light at Sears Crossing, Ledburn, between Leighton Buzzard and Cheddington. Killing Charlie, by Wensley Clarkson (Pp 148–153), Gangster's Moll (2001) by Marilyn Wisbey (Pp 80–81), Gangster's Moll (2001) by Marlyn Wisbey (Chapters 1: Growing Up and 12: Cocaine), Killing Charlie (2004) by Wensley Clarkson (Pp165-166), The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read (Pp239-242), The Train Robbers, by Piers Paul Read (1978), Killing Charlie by Wensley Clarkson (Pp 227 & 244), Crossing the Line — The Autobiography of a Thief, Bruce Reynolds, Page 217, Crossing the Line — The Autobiography of a Thief, Bruce Reynolds, Page 167, The Train Robbers, Piers Paul Read, Pages 269-271, Odd Man Out (1994), Ronnie Biggs, Pages14-16, Odd Man Out (1994), Ronnie Biggs, Pages31-32, The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read (Pp 235 & 245), No Fixed Address (1971) by Frank Williams (Ch: Where Has All The Money Gone ? Buster Edwards As he returned to the train he was overpowered by one of the robbers. Harry Booth). I actually learned a lot about Victorian England in the course of listening to this. Engineer William Gerald "Bill" Boal (22 October 1913 – 26 June 1970), an accomplice after the fact of Roger Cordrey. Mills had constant trauma headaches for the rest of his life, before dying of leukaemia in 1970. Determined not to further delay the theft, Pierce smuggles Agar into the baggage van inside a coffin, then risks his life by climbing across the roof of the train during the journey. At Edwards's funeral in 1994, Reynolds saw only Welch. This process of exchange allowed mail to be distributed locally without delaying the train with unnecessary stops. After he was released, he became a flower seller outside Waterloo station. The replacement train driver was never caught, and never suspected of even existing by police, due to the fact that Jack Mills in the end had to drive the train. He was allegedly staying with another woman, to the shock of his wife and daughter. [page needed][unreliable source? The deal done with Pembroke caused outrage in the police hierarchy. Reynolds, then aged 47, was helped by Gordon Goody to get back on his feet, before Goody departed for Spain. , Bruce Reynolds Books written by senior police in the early 1970s, after their retirement, chiefly present accounts of the investigation, capture, trial and recapture of the robbers. However he crashed several cars and his chances of becoming a driver quickly faded. After Pierce's escape, conflicting reports indicate him, Miriam and Barlow spending the rest of their lives living in luxury, reportedly in various foreign cities. John Wheater was released from prison on 11 February 1966 and managed his family's laundry business in Harrogate.  His family continued to run the flower stall after his death. He noted that it seemed to him that Butler was sceptical of his efforts and that at the press conference Hatherill and Millen did not reveal the circumstances behind the find and that he was never asked to talk with them about it. He called a meeting with Edwards, Reynolds, Daly and James and they agreed that they needed to be sure.  Arrested on landing, after detention and a short court hearing he was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. The last of the robbers released, (after serving about one-third of his sentence) Wilson returned to the life of crime and was found shot dead at his villa in Marbella, Spain, on 24 April 1990. A shadowy figure, nobody knew exactly where he lived—or even what his real name was. After the failure of his sporting career, he returned to his trade as a silversmith. Usually the value of the shipment was in the region of £300,000, but because the previous weekend had been a UK Bank Holiday weekend, the total on the day of the robbery was to be between £2.5 and £3 million.. On 14 July 1964, the appeals by Roger Cordrey and Bill Boal were allowed, with the convictions for conspiracy to rob quashed, leaving only the receiving charges. , The New York Times called it "Mr Crichton's best thriller to date. With the assistance of his longtime mistress, known only as "Miss Miriam" (who is also an actress,) and his loyal associate, a buck cabby named Barlow, Pierce and Agar successfully break into Trent's home and wine cellar by night and make a wax impression of the key. Butler raided them three times but he never found the train money. The final line of the novel reads, "The money from the Great Train Robbery was never recovered. [page needed][unreliable source? Biggs's only task was to supervise Agate's participation in the robbery, and when it became obvious that Agate was not able to drive the train, he and Biggs were sent to the waiting truck to help load the mail bags. From listening to their police-tuned radio, the gang learned that the police had calculated they had gone to ground within a 30-mile radius of the crime scene rather than dispersing with their haul. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 [database on-line]. The son stated that Pembroke, whose share of the loot was £150,000 (about £3 million in 2019), died in 2015 aged 79.. Mills's assailant was one of three members of the gang that were never identified by the others.  This carriage was kept for evidence for seven years following the event and then burned at a scrapyard in Norfolk in the presence of police and post office officials to deter any souvenir hunters. After the robbery, the gang hid at Leatherslade Farm. He produced the trophy given to Formula One promoters each year thanks to his acquaintance with Bernie Ecclestone. It was surmised that McKenna either donated his share to the Catholic church over the years or had had the money stolen from him.. , In a 2003 interview, Reynolds recalled: "from an early age I always wanted a life of adventure." Hatherill's list was unerringly accurate—all the major gang members who were later jailed were identified, except Ronnie Biggs. That is how I felt watching "The Great Train Robbery". A leg injury sustained in prison forced him to undergo several operations, which left him disabled.. In 2014, Douglas Goody claimed to journalists that "The Ulsterman" was Patrick McKenna, at the time of the robbery a 43-year-old postal worker living in Salford, Lancashire. Although the Wisbey share was one that was not taken by other criminals, Marilyn Wisbey is still bitter that her relatives got to spend a fair amount of the loot while the overall sum dwindled away. Following the deaths of Goody on 29 January 2016, and Tommy Wisbey on 30 December 2016, Bob Welch is the only remaining known member of the gang known still alive. If Williams had known this, he could have asked Daly questions about the Monopoly set and robbed him of his very effective alibi. Field was called upon to assist in Goody's defence in the aftermath of the "Airport Job", which was a robbery carried out on 27 November 1962 at BOAC Comet House, Hatton Cross, London Airport. Wilson and Biggs's escapes meant that five of the known robbers were now on the run, with Tommy Butler in hot pursuit. This meant that there was no photo to show the lengths he had gone to in order to change his appearance. ", "British Transport Police History: The Great Train Robbery", "Fancy the 'Get Out of Jail Free' card from Great Train Robbery gang's Monopoly? The gang realised the police were using a "dragnet tactic", and with help from the public, would probably discover the farm much sooner than had been originally anticipated. One of the Post Office carriages that was part of the remaining train (not involved in the actual robbery) is preserved at the Nene Valley Railway at Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and is being restored. The raid uncovered 1 kg of cocaine and Rene and Marilyn Wisbey were arrested along with Jimmy Hussey, who had been spotted accepting a package from Wisbey in a park. His friends from childhood were Jimmy Hussey, Tommy Wisbey, Bruce Reynolds and Gordon Goody. Wisbey himself was captured a year later in Wilmslow, Cheshire. He was unfortunate in that Brian Field's relatives had dumped luggage containing £100,000 only a mile from a site where White had bought a caravan and hidden £30,000 in the panelling. By the next day, much of England is in an uproar upon the discovery of the robbery, with every organisation involved in the gold shipment blaming each other, few leads as to the true culprits and no idea how it was done. [page needed][non-primary source needed][unreliable source?]. [page needed][unreliable source? He turned to crime early in life and spurned his father's legitimate but low-income wage. Pp 68–84), Gangster's Moll (2001) by Marilyn Wisbey (Chapter 6 The Pubs, Pp 69–71), The Train Robbers (1978), Piers Paul Read, Pp244-245, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Pressure makes Network Rail change bridge name", "The Great Train Robbers: Who were they? There were also ten-shilling notes in batches of £250. During his prison stint, his daughter Lorraine had died in a car accident. Pierce plans to copy them at night, but the presence of "crushers" (policemen) and "jacks" (security guards) forces him to recruit "Clean Willy" Williams, a "snakesman" or burglar able to slip inside buildings through small and cramped openings, who is currently incarcerated in the high-security and supposedly escape-proof Newgate Prison. In her book Gangster's Moll, Marilyn Wisbey recounts that on 8 June 1988, after returning home from a visit to an abortion clinic and resting they were raided by the Drugs Squad.  His family are now trying to have his name cleared, as they believe, based on evidence not used in the original trial, that Boal was at best an accomplice after the fact with no knowledge of the robbery, and that it was likely that Cordrey told him nothing about the provenance of the cash. ][non-primary source needed] On one occasion he described the contents and layout of a house near Weybridge where his wife Karin had once been a nanny.. Have you ever watched a true story and said, "That is too incredible to be true!" In the mid/late 1970s they worked for the Children's Book Centre (since sold) in Kensington High Street, London. The senior officer, Frank Williams, was a quiet man. He died before Daly could catch up with him. He threatened the man left in charge of his share of the theft to retrieve the remainder. He retired on the last day of the trial at Aylesbury. He was tried in June 1966 at Leicester Assizes and Mr Justice Nield sentenced him to 18 years' jail, considerably less than the 30 years given to other principal offenders. John Gosling and Dennis Craig‘s book on the robbery The Great Train Robbery – the Incredible Story of a Masterpiece of Modern Crime (1965), theorized that the theft was masterminded by a cashiered British army officer, Johnnie Rainbow. [page needed][unreliable source? ][non-primary source needed] He was at one point accused of cannabis smuggling but ultimately cleared. He died six weeks after his brother-in-law Reynolds.. The driver, of course, was not a member of the gang (as defined by receiving an equal share), just an accomplice. Reynolds gave up trying to find Field. Crichton uses the same quasi-non-fiction style that he uses for his other historical novels like Eaters of the Dead or Pirate Latitudes. Died on 18 December 2013, aged 81, on 11 February 1966 and managed his continued. Read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets before Goody departed for Spain £131,000 4.7! Was clever in avoiding having a photo taken when he was finally forced to accept compulsory retirement, Stan! Back into service for short spells for numerous offences on 27 January 1932 at Lambeth London. Hatherill and Millen decided to publish photos of the wanted suspects, despite strong protests from Butler! House in Upper Norwood sometime after his brother-in-law Reynolds. [ 103 ] openly! Biggs never paid him his £20,000 `` drink '' ' memoirs were in. 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