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Bronson sends email tribute to 'diamond geezer' Biggs

An email from notorious prisoner Charles Bronson has been read out at the funeral of Ronnie Biggs in which he paid tribute to the Great Train Robber as "staunch, solid, loyal to the end".

The homage from Bronson continued:

Much respect to a diamond geezer. I do hope the royal family show their respect with a nice train wreath. Three cheers to you Ron, we love you buddy.

Nick Reynolds, the son of the late mastermind of the 1963 robbery Bruce Reynolds, meanwhile described Biggs in heroic terms, saying:

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.

Speaking about the ill health Biggs had suffered in his last years, Mr Reynolds said: "The house was a wreck but the lights were on and Ron was very much at home."

Charles Bronson sends bouquet for Ronnie Biggs

Charles Bronson, one of the country's longest-serving prisoners, has paid his respects to Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs with a bouquet.

The flowers contained an old ten-bob note with the words "Ronnie Biggs RIP" scrawled across it.

This bouquet being carried to the funeral service appears to be the one from Charles Bronson. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire
The tributes to the famous fugitive were brought to the service at Golders Green Crematorium, north London. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

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Two-fingered salute travels with Ronnie Biggs coffin

Flowers in the shape of two fingers have travelled in the back of the hearse carrying the coffin of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs to his funeral.

Ronnie Biggs won worldwide notoriety after escaping prison and living the high life in Rio de Janeiro. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
The floral tribute came months after Biggs stuck two fingers up at journalists while attending robbery mastermind Bruce Reynold's funeral. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Stetson hat and a Charlton scarf adorn Biggs coffin

A Stetson hat and a red-and-white Charlton Athletic scarf sat atop the flags of Brazil and the UK as Ronnie Biggs' coffin was carried into a packed-out chapel in north London.

A six-piece Dixie band played slow tunes as Ronnie Biggs' coffin was carried into position. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Biggs' carers at the Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet were among those joining the funeral procession. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Mourners clapped and touched the coffin as it made its way into Golders Green Crematorium, north London. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Ronnie Biggs' rebel life marked with sweary wreath

Two flags and a two-fingered wreath accompanied Ronnie Biggs' coffin en route to the funeral service at Golders Green Crematorium. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs' infamous defiance of authority has been celebrated at his funeral with a white floral wreath in the shape of a two-fingered salute included in his hearse.

The flag of Brazil, where he spent many years on the run, was draped over his coffin along with a Union flag as it was driven through north London on the way to his funeral service.

Biggs, who spent more than three decades as a fugitive, died at the age of 84 last month.

Ronnie Biggs stuck his fingers up to journalists as he attended the funeral of fellow Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds last year. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Funeral of Great Train Robber Biggs to take place

The funeral of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs will take place today. Biggs, who gained notoriety for spending 36 years on the run after escaping prison, died last month at 84.

Ronnie Biggs, 35, jailed for 30 years for his part in the Great Train Robbery Credit: PA

The world-renowned robber had been cared for at Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet, north London, after suffering several strokes in recent years. He was last seen in public last March at the funeral of fellow robber Bruce Reynolds.

Biggs' funeral will be held at Golders Green Crematorium, north London, this afternoon.

Read: Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs dies aged 84

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Great Train Robbery author: There are two Ronnie Biggs

Nick Russell-Pavier, author of The Great Train Robbery: Crime of the Century, told ITV News there are "two Ronnie Biggs".

"There is the sort of cartoon character who featured in The Sun and doing videos with the Sex Pistols, and there's the small-time thief who was catapulted into the extraordinary tale," he said.

Author 'very sad' to hear of Ronnie Biggs' passing

Author Mike Gray, who has written numerous books on the Great Train Robbery and on Ronnie Biggs, said he was sad to hear of his passing as "he has become part of my life and myself part of his."

Mr Gray, whose books include Ronnie Biggs: The Inside Story, said he visited Biggs every month for eight years while he was held at HMP Norwich and HMP Belmarsh.

Ronnie Biggs pictured in Brazil in 1980. Credit: Tophams/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images

He said: "He was never a bad person. His criminal CV was laughable before the train robbery and none of the train robbers wanted him on the robbery as they had never heard of him.

"He was only invited as mastermind Bruce Reynolds was Biggs' best pal and Biggs knew a retired train driver. Biggs always regretted the injury to [train driver] Mr Mills."

Biggs' son: Great Train Robbery part of British history

Ronnie Biggs and his son Michael were interviewed in August at the memorial of Bruce Reynolds, dubbed the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery.

Michael Biggs told ITV News correspondent Simon Harris his father still had very clear memories of the robbery as he was "blessed with a photographic memory".

Asked how important it was to remember the heist, he said "Crime is always wrong so that should be at the top of everyone's agenda, however it is part of British history now ... that can't be changed."

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