GREAT TRAIN ROBBER RONNIE BIGGS FUNERAL – THE FINAL JOURNEY 3RD JANUARY 2014

BELOW ORDER OF SERVICE FOR THE FUNERAL OF RONNIE BIGGS1497963_10153639642285456_772394335_o

RONNIE’S SON MICHAEL IN A PRIVATE MOMENT OUTSIDE  HIS HOME PRIOR TO THE HEARSE TAKING RONNIE ON HIS  FINAL JOURNEY TO GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM

JSN_5970RONNIE’S  WICKER COFFIN INSIDE GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM ADORNED WITH THE BRAZILIAN AND ENGLISH NATIONAL FLAGS, HIS ARSENAL SCARF AND TRILBY HAT 
JSN_6151BELOW ARE A COUPLE OF NEWS VIDEO FOOTAGE COVERING THE FUNERAL 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4xVLlV5EMU

BELOW IS HOW THE DAILY MAIL NEWSPAPER REPORTED THE FUNERAL

Ageing gangsters, Hell’s Angels taking selfies, a coffin draped in the BRAZILIAN flag… and a two-fingered floral salute: A fittingly tacky send-off for Ronnie Biggs

  • Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber, died last month aged 84
  • Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson sent a bouquet of flowers
  • He said in a message read to the funeral: ‘I do hope the royal family show their respect with a nice train wreath’
  • Brazilian flag draped across Ronnie Biggs’ coffin
  • Freddie Foreman, who had links to the Kray twins, among the mourners
  • Biggs gave a two-fingered salute last time he was seen in public
  • Today his coffin was taken to Golders Green Crematorium, north London with a similar floral tribute
  • Great Train Robbers fled with £2.6m in 1963 – £46m in today’s money
  • Train driver Jack Mills was beaten over the head and never fully recovered

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, who spent much of his life cocking a snook at authority, was given an appropriate send off today.

He stuck two-fingers to the authorities for one last time – with an offensive floral tribute in the back of his hearse.

And in what could be seen as a final dig at British justice, the criminal’s coffin had a Union Flag draped across it which was almost completely covered by a Brazilian flag in reference to the time he spent on the run there.

After being jailed, Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison in 1965 and made his way to Rio five years later where he could not be extradited back to his homeland. He stayed there for 27 years before finally returning to the country.

At his funeral today, some of Britain’s best-known villains paid their respects in person – and those behind bars sent their messages of condolence.

 

Mourners: Ronnie Biggs' coffin is carried into Golders Green crematorium, draped in a Brazilian flag with his trademark cap on the top. the criminal spent 27 years in Brazil before he returned to BritainMourners: Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is carried into Golders Green crematorium, draped in a Brazilian flag with his trademark cap on the top. the criminal spent 27 years in Brazil before he returned to Britain

The Great Train Robber's coffin, draped with a Union Flag, a Brazilian flag and a scarf of his beloved Arsenal football team is carried into Golders Green CrematoriumThe Great Train Robber’s coffin, draped with a Union Flag, a Brazilian flag and a scarf of his beloved Arsenal football team is carried into Golders Green Crematorium

Funeral: Ronnie Biggs son Michael holds his father's cap as he is comforted by Great Train Robbery ringleader Bruce Reynolds' son NickFuneral: Ronnie Biggs son Michael holds his father’s cap as he is comforted by Great Train Robbery ringleader Bruce Reynolds’ son Nick

Biggs's granddaughter Ingrid speaking during the funeral service
Michael Biggs speaking during the funeral service of his father Ronnie Biggs

Tribute: Biggs’s granddaughter Ingrid and son Michael speak during the funeral service

Emotion: Biggs's granddaughter Ingrid is consoled by her father Michael, after giving her speech during the serviceEmotion: Biggs’s granddaughter Ingrid is consoled by her father Michael, after delivering her speech

In loving memory: A copy of the order of service for the funeral of Ronnie BiggsIn loving memory: A copy of the order of service for the funeral of Ronnie Biggs
Nick Reynolds, son of Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds gives a reading during the funeral serviceNick Reynolds, son of Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds gives a reading during the funeral service

Charles Bronson, one of the country’s longest-serving prisoners, sent a bouquet containing an old ten-bob note with the words ‘Ronnie Biggs RIP’ scrawled across it.

Biggs, who spend 36 years on the run in total, died last month aged 84 after a long battle with illness.

When Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the notorious Great Train Robbery in 1963, died last year, Biggs took the opportunity to swear at journalists one last time.

Today Bruce’s son Nick was among the mourners at Golders Green Crematorium, in north London.

Freddie Foreman, a notorious East End crook with links to the Kray twins, and self-proclaimed former gangster Dave Courtney were also in attendance.

Final journey: Ronnie Biggs' body is taken to his funeral escorted by Hells Angels outriders

Final journey: Ronnie Biggs’ body is taken to his funeral escorted by Hells Angels outriders

Defiance: A two-fingered floral tribute is displayed in the back of Ronnie Biggs' hearse this afternoon as his body is taken to the crematorium. He died last month aged 84Defiance: A two-fingered floral tribute is displayed in the back of Ronnie Biggs’ hearse this afternoon as his body is taken to the crematorium. He died last month aged 84

Funeral: Flanked by a posse of Hells Angels, the coffin is driven to the crematorium draped in two flags - and with Biggs' cap on topFuneral: Flanked by a posse of Hells Angels, the coffin is driven to the crematorium draped in two flags – and with Biggs’ cap on top

Final journey: Ronnie Biggs' coffin is carried into the crematorium by Nick Reynolds, son of the Great Train Robbery ringleader BruceFinal journey: Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is carried into the crematorium by Nick Reynolds, son of the Great Train Robbery ringleader Bruce

Respects: Ronnie Biggs' coffin is carried into the crematorium this afternoonRespects: Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is carried into the crematorium this afternoon
Mourners: Hells Angel bikers and other wellwishers attend the funeral in north LondonMourners: Hells Angel bikers and other wellwishers attend the funeral in north London
Escort: A police van and a row of cars follow the hearse to the funeral in north LondonEscort: A police van and a row of cars follow the hearse to the funeral in north London
Grief: Michael Biggs, the Great Train Robber's son, is seen in sunglasses at the funeral in north LondonGrief: Michael Biggs, the Great Train Robber’s son, is seen in sunglasses at the funeral in north London

Send off: The Hells Angels bikers arrive at the funeral, leading the coffin to the crematoriumSend off: The Hells Angels bikers arrive at the funeral, leading the coffin to the crematorium

Send-off: The bikers arrive at the crematorium in Golders Green, north London, this afternoonSend-off: The bikers arrive at the crematorium in Golders Green, north London, this afternoon
Tribute: A brass band at Biggs' funeralTribute: A six-piece Dixie band joined the procession for the final part of the journey to the crematorium.
Leading the hearse and funeral cars, it played songs including When the Saints Come Marching In

Criminal: Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson sent a bouquet of flowers with an old ten bob note with 'Ronnie Biggs RIP' written on itCriminal: Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson sent a bouquet of flowers with an old ten bob note with ‘Ronnie Biggs RIP’ written on it
Final journey: The coffin is carried into Golders Green Crematorium this afternoon as Biggs is given a final send-off from family, gangsters and roguesFinal journey: The coffin is carried into Golders Green Crematorium this afternoon as Biggs is given a final send-off from family, gangsters and rogues
Ronnie Biggs gives a two-fingered salute
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs

Defiance: Ronnie Biggs, seen last year when he made his final public appearance (left), gives a two-fingered salute. He was involved in the Great Train Robbery when he was much younger (right) in 1963

 

Friends say final farewell to Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs

Biggs’ coffin had both the Union Jack and the Brazilian flag draped across it – in reference to the time he spent on the run.

The robber and his co-conspirators made off with £2.6million – which is £46million in today’s money – when they hijacked a Royal Mail train in Ledburn, Buckinghamshire.

Jack Mills, the driver, was coshed over the head with an iron bar and never properly recovered from his injuries.

At Biggs’ funeral today, the Reverend Dave Thompson said: ‘People have asked me “How can you take part in the funeral of a Great Train Robber?”

‘What we need to remember is that Jesus didn’t hang out with hoity-toity folk, he just treated people as people.’

Mourners entered the church to the sound of the London Dixieland Jazz Band before the service began with the hymn Abide With Me by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis LyteMourners entered the church to the sound of the London Dixieland Jazz Band before the service began with the hymn Abide With Me by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte

A eulogy was read by Biggs's son Michael before a Shakespeare sonnet chosen by Charmain Biggs and two of Biggs's own poems read by his friend CookieA eulogy was read by Biggs’s son Michael before a Shakespeare sonnet chosen by Charmain Biggs and two of Biggs’s own poems read by his friend Cookie
Grief: Michael Biggs, pictured at the funeral this week, will tattoo in some of his father's ashes into his armGrief: Michael Biggs, pictured at the funeral this week, will tattoo in some of his father’s ashes into his arm
Respects: The actor Steven Berkoff was among the mourners at the funeral in north London todayRespects: The actor Steven Berkoff was among the mourners at the funeral in north London today
Ex-wife: Charmain Powell, the former wife of Ronnie Biggs, is seen today on her way to the funeralEx-wife: Charmain Powell, the former wife of Ronnie Biggs, is seen today on her way to the funeral
Mourner: Charmain Powell, the ex-wife of Ronnie Biggs, makes her way to his funeral in north London todayMourner: Charmain Powell, the ex-wife of Ronnie Biggs, makes her way to his funeral in north London today

Old criminal: Freddie Foreman, a notorious East End crook with links to the Kray twins, arrives at Ronnie Biggs' funeralOld criminal: Freddie Foreman, a notorious East End crook with links to the Kray twins, arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral

Tribute: Nick Reynolds, son of Bruce Reynolds who was the ringleader of the Great Train Robbery, arrives at Golders Green crematorium in north LondonTribute: Nick Reynolds, son of Bruce Reynolds who was the ringleader of the Great Train Robbery, arrives at Golders Green crematorium in north London

Mourner: Harold Marks arrives at the funeral this afternoon in north LondonMourner: Howard Marks arrives at the funeral this afternoon in north London

Mourner: His face covered in tattoos, a mourner arrives at Ronnie Biggs' funeral in Golders Green, north London, this afternoonMourner: His face covered in tattoos, a mourner arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral in Golders Green, north London, this afternoon

Biggs’s son Michael cried as he paid homage to his father, saying; ‘I’m here to talk about Ron, Ronnie, to me simply dad.

‘Dad always had a way of looking at things and saying something that was fair and often funny.

‘Dad never made enemies and after arriving in Brazil he embraced the culture and became a carioca, someone from Rio.

‘He always had soft spot for the underdog and he considered himself to be one, he always had a few pennies for the street beggars.

‘He spoke the lingo and enjoyed the samba.

‘And parties, he knew about great parties, some were memorable and to this day there are still old hippies that I meet in Rio and say the biggest party they ever went to were with dad.

‘Dad thank you for all your love and strength when necessary, your screwed up way of parenting that many people did not understand, however it has worked.

‘Let’s celebrate his life with a proper booze up later on, ashes to ashes and dust to the beach.

‘Don’t worry mate, you are not paying for the booze.’

Funeral selfie: Hells Angel bikers pose for a selfie as they arrive at Ronnie Biggs' funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoonFuneral selfie: Hells Angel bikers pose for a selfie as they arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoon
Mourner: A man arrives at Ronnie Biggs' funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoonMourner: A man arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoon

Mourners: Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber who spent 36 years on the run, died last month at the age of 83Mourners: Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber who spent 36 years on the run, died last month at the age of 83Bruce Reynolds’ son Nick described Biggs as ‘a great character, with charisma and what he called his kind of luck’.

Speaking about the ill health he had suffered in his last years, Mr Reynolds said: ‘Ronnie managed to hang on to life with great tenacity, dignity and humour.

‘The house was a wreck but the lights were on and Ron was very much at home.

‘The word legend is defined in the dictionary as an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field, and Ron certainly fits that description.’

He also read out an email from Bronson, who described Biggs as ‘staunch, solid, loyal to the end’.

‘Much respect to a diamond geezer,’ Bronson wrote. ‘I do hope the royal family show their respect with a nice train wreath.

‘Three cheers to you Ron, we love you buddy.’

Tribute: A man carries a floral tribute sent by Charles Bronson to the funeral. A note from the notorious criminal, daubed on an old ten bob note read 'Ronnie Biggs RIP'Tribute: A man carries a floral tribute sent by Charles Bronson to the funeral. A note from the notorious criminal, daubed on an old ten bob note read ‘Ronnie Biggs RIP’

Grief: Guests arrive at Ronnie Biggs' funeral in north London today after he died last month following a long illnessGrief: Guests arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral in north London today after he died last month following a long illness
Crowd: Old criminals, family and friends of Ronnie Biggs attend the funeral of the convicted thief who spent 36 years on the runCrowd: Old criminals, family and friends of Ronnie Biggs attend the funeral of the convicted thief who spent 36 years on the run
'From all your friends': A bouquet of flowers from the Hells Angels bikers with a note which says 'rest in peace Ron, love and respect'‘From all your friends’: A bouquet of flowers from the Hells Angels bikers with a note which says ‘rest in peace Ron, love and respect’
Self-proclaimed English former gangster Dave Courtney arrives at the Crematorium for the funeral of Ronnie Biggs
Self-proclaimed English former gangster Dave Courtney (in white coat) arrives at the Crematorium for the funeral of Ronnie Biggs

Funeral: Self-proclaimed English former gangster Dave Courtney arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral at Golders Green Crematorium today

Earlier, the funeral cortege, with a guard of honour formed by 13 Hells Angels bikers, left the home of Biggs’ son Michael and daughter-in-law Veronica in Barnet, north London.

Michael, who was wearing dark glasses and jeans with a skull and crossbones belt, met with mourners before the cortege set off.

Ronald Arthur ‘Ronnie’ Biggs, who spent more than three decades on the run, had been cared for at Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet, north London, after suffering several strokes in recent years.

Funeral: Two men embrace outside Golders Green crematorium where Ronnie Biggs' funeral was heldFuneral: Two men embrace outside Golders Green crematorium where Ronnie Biggs’ funeral was held
Mourners: Dressed in black, these people arrive at Ronnie Biggs' funeral in Golders Green this afternoonMourners: Dressed in black, these people arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral in Golders Green this afternoon

His carers at the home were among those joining the funeral procession today.

Close friend and writer Chris Pickard, who helped Biggs put together his autobiography Odd Man Out, said: ‘I am going to remember him as a great friend. He was great fun to be around.

‘I knew him in Rio and he was a great host and a very generous man.

‘People forget he was involved in just one major incident, one of the iconic crimes of the 20th century.

‘He always said he was the best witness to the Great Train Robbery, he played a very minor part in it, but people always link it to him.

‘But if he hadn’t gone over the prison wall, he wouldn’t have been remembered – there were 16 people at the track but it’s only people like him, Buster Edwards and Bruce Reynolds that get remembered all these years later.

‘Ronnie kept in the news by being on the run for all those years, getting himself kidnapped, it is amazing – he has been in the news virtually every year for the last 50 years and very few people can say that.’

Press pack: Photographers compete for space outside Golders Green CrematoriumPress pack: Photographers compete for space outside Golders Green Crematorium
Grief: The crowd of mourners at Golders Green crematorium in north London this afternoonGrief: The crowd of mourners at Golders Green crematorium in north London this afternoon

Crowd: People watch as Ronnie Biggs' coffin leaves his home and heads to the crematorium in north LondonCrowd: People watch as Ronnie Biggs’ coffin leaves his home and heads to the crematorium in north LondonAsked about the presence of former gangsters at the funeral, Mr Pickard said: ‘He probably wouldn’t know them – he wasn’t involved in that, he was more involved, especially in Brazil, with the arts, music, things like that.

‘His friends were from a huge base of artists and musicians, he didn’t really have that many friends in the criminal fraternity.’

Biggs was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds due to ill health, despite being re-arrested in 2001 upon his return to the UK after evading the authorities since his first escape from Wandsworth Prison in 1965.

At the time of his escape, Biggs had served just 15 months of the 30-year sentence he was handed for his part in the robbery of a Royal Mail freight train between London and Glasgow on August 8, 1963.

After having plastic surgery, he lived as a fugitive for 36 years first in Australia then Brazil, where Michael was born. His son later became the key to him being allowed to stay in the country and not face extradition. Biggs’s money eventually ran out and he traded on his notoriety to scrape a living.

Speaking last year, he said he was proud to have been part of the gang behind the robbery, which saw 15 men escape with a record haul.

Biggs, who could not speak due to his strokes and communicated through a spelling board, said: ‘If you want to ask me if I have any regrets about being one of the train robbers, my answer is, “No”.

‘I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them.’

He did admit to some regrets, however.

‘It is regrettable, as I have said many times, that the train driver was injured,’ he said.

Final sendoff: Draped in both a British flag and a Brazilian flag - in honour of the South American country where he spent so many years on the run - Ronnie Biggs' coffin is taken to his funeralFinal sendoff: Draped in both a British flag and a Brazilian flag – in honour of the South American country where he spent so many years on the run – Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is taken to his funeral

Hells Angels: The bikers went in front of the funeral cortege as the coffin was driven to the crematoriumHells Angels: The bikers went in front of the funeral cortege as the coffin was driven to the crematorium
Tribute act: The bikers arrive at Ronnie Biggs' family's home in Barnet, north London, to make the journey to the crematoriumTribute act: The bikers arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ family’s home in Barnet, north London, to make the journey to the crematorium
Defiant to the last: Thief Ronnie Biggs swears at photographers at the funeral of fellow Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds last yearDefiant to the last: Thief Ronnie Biggs swears at photographers at the funeral of fellow Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds last year
Living it up: Ronnie Biggs relaxes in Brazil in 1997 where he spent 36 years on the run from British justice before returning to get medical careLiving it up: Ronnie Biggs relaxes in Brazil in 1997 where he spent 36 years on the run from British justice before returning to get medical care
Notorious: Ronnie Biggs, who died last month, revelled in the fame his heinous crime brought himNotorious: Ronnie Biggs, who died last month, revelled in the fame his heinous crime brought him

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