Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Great Train Robber' Biggs laid to rest in cheeky style

  • Print

LONDON -- Defiant to the end, British train robber Ronnie Biggs was laid to rest Friday at a funeral complete with a Dixieland band, an honour guard of Hells Angels and a cheeky floral tribute.

A hearse carrying Biggs, who died last month at age 84, was escorted by 13 bikers to London's Golders Green Crematorium.

The hearse bore a white floral wreath in the shape of a rude two-fingered salute and a coffin draped in the flags of Britain and of Brazil, where Biggs lived for three decades and where he was transformed from fugitive into folk hero.

The coffin was brought into the packed chapel to the strains of the London Dixieland Jazz Band.

"People have asked me 'How can you take part in the funeral of a Great Train Robber?' " said Rev. Dave Thompson, who led the funeral service. "What we need to remember is that Jesus didn't hang out with hoity-toity folk, he just treated people as people."

Biggs was part of a gang that pulled off 1963's "Great Train Robbery" of a cash-packed Glasgow-to-London mail train.

The heist netted 1.6 million pounds -- $7.3 million at the time, or more than US$60 million today -- but most of the gang members were soon arrested.

Biggs was jailed but escaped from London's Wandsworth Prison and made his way to Brazil. He lived in Rio de Janeiro for more than 30 years -- regaling journalists and tourists with his story, recording with the Sex Pistols and selling commemorative T-shirts -- before returning voluntarily to Britain, and prison, in 2001.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 4, 2014 A23

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Peguis Chief Hudson comments on toddler's death upgrade to homicide investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A goose heads for shade in the sunshine Friday afternoon at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg - Day 26– June 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google