On this day - August 8th

Home » Latest News » On this day - August 8th
Default

The Great Train Robbery

In spite of the facts about the so-called Great Train Robbery — that it was a nasty robbery with violence carried out by career criminals — it has somehow gone into legend in Britain as something of a romantic enterprise.

A total of £2.6 million was stolen from a night-mail train running between Glasgow and Euston on August 8th, 1963 . The money stolen was being taken to be destroyed, so was all in used notes with no record of serial numbers. The robbers halted the train by tricking the driver with a tampered signal — a glove masked the green bulb, and the red was operated with a battery.

At 3.15 in the morning the train came to a halt near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire.

During the attack the deputy driver was bundled down the embankment, and Jack Mills the driver (pictured) was struck with a crowbar. Though he recovered he suffered from the injury and trauma for the rest of his life, dying in 1970 without ever returning to work.

Some 120 sacks of banknotes were thrown from Bridego Railway Bridge to which the relevant carriage had been moved, onto a waiting ex-army lorry. Within 20 minutes the robbery had been completed, and the 15 man gang made off in the lorry and Land Rovers, travelling to their hideout — Leatherslade Farm in Bedfordshire .

A reward of £260,000 was rapidly offered by the banks affected and by the Post Office, a massive sum.

Though the robbery itself had worked like clockwork, the criminals afterwards were less clever: the hideout was tracked down by the police within days, and fingerprints aplenty were found there; two gang members who were lying low in Bournemouth made the mistake of paying rental on a garage in cash with a large quantity of 10 shilling notes to a police widow, and were soon arrested, others following soon after. On April 16 the following year 12 of the gang members were sentenced to prison.

Where is Jack Mills Way, a road which commemorates the unlucky driver?

Click here for the answer

Jack Mills Way connects the A500 Shavington bypass to Crewe town centre

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Village centre
Fri 10 Jul 6:10am  |  hits: 1,084

Audlem Medical Practice Update — 9.7.2020As we take the first tentative steps out of lockdown we would like to take the opportunity to thank all our patients who have supported each other and their vulnerable or shielding neighbours during this difficult time. We would also like to thank all of our staff who have helped us to remain open and continue to provide care through this most difficult...

Little Heath
Mon 13 Jul 6:08am  |  hits: 989

This interesting aerial photograph of Little Heath in the 1960's was sent in by Kevin Errington, who has recently moved.The photo was found in the house he has just moved into.Other old photos of Little Heath can be seen on the Audlem Archive site, by clicking here and entering "Little Heath" into the search...

Hankelow Green, July 2011
Sun 12 Jul 6:09am  |  hits: 893

Howard is member of ADAPT, and although he is the author of this article he would like to acknowledge the assistance of Andy Hannah, Chris Thornton, and Alan Draper.Veronica rang me the other morning. Brilliant photographer, heart of gold, bit of a rah-rah, used to keep horses when she lived up here, and followed the Hunt — you know the sort. Well, after we had visited her dentist together...