Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

18th December 2013

Biggs Deal
Posted by at 9.04pm | 1 response | In the News, Trains

So Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has died. The robbery has gone down in folklore, thanks to the scale of the initial crime and Biggs’ subsequent escape from justice. Countless books and films have been inspired – the latest is airing on BBC1 as I type this.

I can’t get on board with the recasting of Biggs as a cheeky Cockney geezer, though, because it overlooks the fact that the violent robbery caused lasting effects on two victims in particular: Jack Mills, the train’s driver, and David Whitby, the secondman. Both were treated roughly by the robbers (it has never been established which one inflicted the injuries). Mills was hit over the head with an iron bar, before they were both handcuffed and thrown in the locomotive’s engine room.

Mills suffered Trauma headaches for the rest of his life, and Whitby suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of just 34. Although no direct link was made between the men’s premature deaths and the injuries they suffered, it’s not hard to imagine that the attack would have had a lasting negative effect.

An audacious heist, maybe, but one with two victims who were unlucky enough to be doing their jobs. They’re the dead people we should be focusing on tonight.

Tags: ,

One Response
  1. Comment by peezedtee
    18th December 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I absolutely agree with you. And more generally, I loathe the way some of the popular media routinely glorify professional criminals. Professional criminals, who are perfectly sane and know exactly what they are doing, are far worse in my view than most of the people the gutter press gets so worked up about, who are mostly just inadequate or mad.