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Funeral of Great Train Robber Bruce Renyolds today

The funeral of the Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds is taking place this afternoon.

On the Twitter page of his friend Ronnie Biggs has been posted:

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Thank you for all your kind thoughts and words about Bruce Reynolds. I will pass them on to his son, Nick, at today's funeral. RIP Bruce.

Read more: Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds dies

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Train heist proved a curse for mastermind Reynolds

Bruce Reynolds (centre) with six of the Great Train Robbery gang in 1979. Credit: PA/PA Archive

Bruce Reynolds said he wanted to "make his mark" when masterminding the Great Train Robbery - but said the infamous heist became his curse in later life.

Using inside information on the movement of valuables, the antiques dealer assembled a gang to raid a night train in Buckinghamshire in August 1963, with the group making off with £2.5 million in used bank notes.

The eventual death of train driver Jack Mills further blackened the heist.

While co-conspirator Ronnie Biggs spent nearly four decades on the run after escaping from prison in 1964, Reynolds evaded capture for five years, spending time in Mexico and Canada, before returning to England.

He was captured in Torquay in 1968 and jailed for 25 years but was released in 1978, alone and penniless.

Reynolds spent another three years in prison in the 1980s for dealing amphetamines.

He later said his part in the 1963 crime meant no-one wanted to employ him, legally or illegally.

Reynolds became infamous star after 1963 train heist

Bruce Reynolds was jailed in 1968 for 25 years for his part in 1963's infamous train heist, but was released in 1978. Credit: PA/PA Archive
He and fellow conspirator Buster Edwards soon capitalised on their notoriety with a book launch. Credit: PA/PA Archive
The pair were reunited again in 1990 for the funeral of the robbers' "treasurer" Charlie Wilson, who was shot dead in Spain. Credit: Tony Harris/PA Archive

Son confirms death of Great Train Robber Reynolds

Nick Reynolds said he had been looking after his father. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Archive

Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, has died - just before the 50th anniversary of the infamous heist, often hailed as one of the most audacious crimes of the 20th Century.

His son Nick Reynolds confirmed his 81-year-old father passed away in his sleep after recently falling ill.

"He hadn't been well for a few days and I was looking after him," he said. "I really can't talk at the moment. I can confirm that he has passed away and he died in his sleep."

Bruce Reynolds led the gang that made off with more than £2.5 million (worth £40 million today) when they held up the Royal Mail travelling post office which ran between Glasgow and London in August 1963.

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