Saturday 21 October 2017

Defiant Biggs in rude health at funeral

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs gestures to photographers at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, at the church of St Bartholomew in London March 20, 2013. Reynolds, the key planner behind the Great Train Robbery in 1963, died at the age of 81 in February. REUTERS/Neil Hall (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY)
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs gestures to photographers at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, at the church of St Bartholomew in London March 20, 2013. Reynolds, the key planner behind the Great Train Robbery in 1963, died at the age of 81 in February. REUTERS/Neil Hall (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY)

Neil Lancefield and Arj Singh

Ronnie Biggs arrived at the funeral of fellow Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds with a defiant message – he flipped the 'V' sign to the waiting press.

Biggs (83), freed four years ago following claims he was close to death, was among 200 well-wishers who paid tribute to his late friend.

Reynolds, who masterminded the 1963 robbery, died just months before the 50th anniversary of the famous heist, hailed as one of the most audacious crimes of the 20th Century.

The gang targeted a Glasgow-to-London mail train and escaped with a then record haul of £2.6m, equivalent to £40m (€46m) today.

Reynolds died in his sleep on February 28 and was laid to rest yesterday after a private service at St Bartholomew The Great, a church in London.

In a tribute read on his behalf, Biggs said: "Bruce was a true friend, a great friend. A friend through the good and the bad times, and we had many of both."

Irish Independent

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