• 8 August: Ronald Arthur Biggs, is born in Lambeth, South London. He lives in Dalyell Road, SW9, close to what is now the O2 Brixton Academy. 


  • 17 May: Charmian Powell, the future ‘Mrs Biggs’, is born. 


  • Due to World War II Biggs is evacuated to Devon and Cornwall.


  • Biggs returns to London and goes to Stanley Street School and Brixton School of Building.


  • May: Biggs’ mother dies at the age of 53.


  • January: Biggs’ first court appearance at the age of 15.


  • May: Biggs signs up for the Royal Air Force


  • 18 February: First prison sentence – six months for shop breaking, housebreaking, stealing and using a false ID card.
  • February: Dishonourable discharge from RAF.
  • July: Sentenced to three months in HMP Wormwood Scrubs.
  • Meets Bruce Reynolds in Wormwood Scrubs.
  • November: Sentenced to Borstal.


  • March: First appearance at the Old Bailey.
  • April: Meets Eric Flower in HMP Wormwood Scrubs.
  • Second spell in HMP Lewes for Young Prisoners.


  • 19 August: Biggs is released from HMP Lewes and meets up again with Bruce Reynolds. 


  • Reynolds and Biggs both end up back in HMP Wandsworth, but now as adults. Reynolds refers to Wandsworth as “an old boys reunion of the elite criminals in the land.”


  • Biggs elopes with Charmian and his good friend Michael Haynes.
  • April 2: Biggs is sentenced to two-and-a-half years after the three are caught breaking and entering.. 
  • Charmian and Michael Haynes receive suspended sentences.


  • 1 December: Released from HMP Wandsworth.


  • 20 February: Biggs marries Charmian Powell at Reigate Register Office.
  • 17 May: Charmian Biggs’ 21st birthday.
  • 23 July: Nicholas Grant Biggs is born at Redhill County Hospital.
  • Biggs moves to 37 Alpine Road in Redhill. 


  • The core of what will be the Great Train Robbery gang, with Bruce Reynolds in charge, plan a number of robberies involving trains, but not stopping them.
  • 26 January: The Daily Express uses as the headline “Great Train Robbery Foiled” for a story about a botched raid on a train in Essex. The target is thought to be a Travelling Post Office.
  • 27 November: Key members of Bruce Reynolds’ train robbery gang pull off the London Airport robbery at Comet House. A £62,500 BOAC payroll, about £1 million at 2013 values, is stolen.
  • 26 December: While hauling the up Midday Scot, D326, an English Electric Class 40 diesel locomotive, runs into the back of the Liverpool – Birmingham Express between Winsford and Crewe at Coppenhall Junction. 18 passengers are killed and 34 injured. D326 (later renumbered as ‘40126’) is the engine that will be involved in the Great Train Robbery. 


  • 24 March: Christopher Dean Biggs is born at Redhill County Hospital. Biggs plans to buy Alpine Road. 
  • March: The planning and preparation for the Great Train Robbery starts. 
  • 1 May: A key date in the history of the Great Train Robbery and those involved. In court “1st May 1963” is chosen as the legal start of the “conspiracy” that is the Great Train Robbery. 
  • 29 July: Leatherslade Farm purchased by gang via Brian Fields for £5,500.
  • 6 August: Gang arrives at Leatherslade Farm.
  • 8 August: Great Train Robbery / Biggs’ 34th birthday.
  • 9 August: Gang leaves Leatherslade Farm.
  • 13 August: Leatherslade Farm is discovered by the police.
  • 14 August: First arrests – Roger Cordrey and Bill Boal.
  • 16 August: Three cases with money stacked inside them are found just off Coldharbour Lane in Dorking Woods in Surrey.
  • 22 August: Charlie Wilson arrested.
  • 24 August: Police visit Biggs for first time at Alpine Road looking for Reynolds. 
  • 4 September: Biggs arrested by Detective Inspector Frank Williams and taken to Scotland Yard where Butler questions him. Biggs refuses to sign a statement. He is the ninth person arrested in relation to the robbery.
  • 5 September: Biggs is formally charged at Linslade Magistrates Court and sent to HMP Bedford. Another person arrested and charged on this day is Christine Keeler.
  • 7 September: Jimmy Hussey arrested
  • 11 September: Tommy Wisbey arrested.
  • 26 September Bob Welch arrested.Preliminary hearing and the committal proceedings take place for the people charged. 
  • 3 October: Gordon Goody is arrested and charged. Tommy Butler is now looking for Bruce Reynolds, Buster Edwards, Jimmy White, John Daly, Roy James and Bob Welch.
  • 17 October: John Wheater arrested.
  • 25 October: Bob Welch arrested.
  • 2 December: All the prisoners arrested to date appear before Linslade Magistrates, sitting in Aylesbury, and the prosecution makes the case for them to be committed for trial. 
  • 3 December: John Daly arrested (later acquitted).
  • 10 December: Police receive an anonymous message: “Go to the phonebox in Great Dover Street, opposite Blackhorse Court. You will find £50,000 in two sacks.” Butler and Williams find the money in old one pound notes and bundles of Scottish five pound notes. Scottish notes can be traced to money on the train. 


  • 20 January: Opening of Great Train Robbery trial  at the Buckingham Winter Assizes at the District Council Chamber in Aylesbury. Charges are mainly ‘conspiracy to stop a mail with intent to rob said mail’. 
  • 22 January: Jack Mills is the first of 264 witnesses to give evidence. He is unable to identify any of the robbers.
  • 6 February: A retrial of Biggs is ordered after Detective Inspector Basil Morris lets slip in court that Biggs has served time in prison with Bruce Reynolds.
  • 11 February: The prosecution rests. Their case is clear in that it is arguing that while it can’t prove who was at the track and at the actual crime scene, if it proves somebody was at Leatherslade Farm that should be sufficient to prove the guilt. The defence begins.
  • 14 February: Mr Justice Edmund Davies directs the jury to acquit John Daly. Daly leaves the court a free man having spent 79 days in custody. 
  • 17-23 March: Summing up by Justice Edmund Davies. 
  • 26 March: Trial ends. Guilty verdict on the entire gang.
  • 8 April: Opening of Biggs’ retrial.
  • 14 April: End of second trial.
  • 15 April: Guilty verdict on Biggs after just 92 minutes of jury deliberation..
  • 16 April: Lord Chief Justice Edmund Davies passes sentence on Train Robbery Gang. Seven of gang get 30-year sentences (including Biggs), two get 25 years, one gets 24 years, one gets 20 years and one gets three years. 
  • 10 May: Stern magazine publishes the first of two very accurate articles about the Great Train Robbery, most of the information for which is supplied by Karin Field. 
  • 6-20 July: Appeals heard in London.
  • Biggs transferred to HMP Wandsworth.He meets Paul Seabourne. 
  • 12 August: Charlie Wilson escapes from HMP Winson Green Prison, Birmingham.
  • 17 August: Gordon Goody’s escape attempt from HMP Strangeways, Manchester, is uncovered.
  • September: Bruce Reynolds slips out of UK.


  • April: Paul Seabourne, now a good friend of Biggs, is released from HMP Wandsworth. He immediately starts to work of his escape plans for Biggs. 
  • 7 July: The original E(scape) Day for Biggs is delayed due to rain.
  • 8 July: Biggs escapes from HMP Wandsworth at 3.05 pm.
  • 14 July: 50 airport police swoop on a DC7 cargo plane at London airport. They believe Biggs is hidden in one of the crates.
  • 16 August: Seabourne is arrested and later sentenced to four and a half years for helping Biggs to escape. Ronnie Leslie gets three years for helping Seabourne. 
  • August: Charmian gets to visit Biggs in Bognor Regis. It is their first meeting since the escape and their first time together alone since September 1963.
  • October: Biggs and Eric Flower escape to France and are based in Rue Vivienne in Paris. They, undergo plastic surgery. 
  • A waxwork of Biggs and Wilson is put on display in the entrance to Madame Tussauds in London. It is popular to have your photo taken with them.
  • 222 December: Eric Flower travels from Paris to Sydney as “Robert Burley”.
  • Charmian and the children visit Biggs in Paris for Christmas. The family spend Christmas at the Hotel Cécilia in the centre of Paris. 
  • 29 December: Biggs flies from Paris to Sydney via Zurich as “Terence Furminger”, a writer born on 13 June 1928.
  • 30 December: “Terence Furminger” (Biggs) arrives in Sydney. Biggs and Flower set up home in Botany Bay. 


  • February 8: “Die Gentlemen bitten zur Kasse (The Gentlemen Require Payment)”, a three-part mini-series based on the Great Train Robbery, is first broadcast in West Germany on TV Ard. It has a 90% audience share, the highest in German TV history. 
  • 11 February: John Wheater released from prison.
  • March: After their mail is intercepted, Biggs and Flower move from Sydney to Adelaide. “Terence Forminger” becomes “Terence King”.
  • 4 April: “The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery” has its premiere in London. 
  • 10 April: Sunday Express publishes photos of “wanted” men.
  • 12 April: Jimmy White arrested.
  • 10 June: Charmian, Nick and Chris Biggs leave the UK for Australia. They take a ferry to Ostend and then a car to Brussels. They then fly to Zurich to connect to the BOAC Darwin flight.
  • 14 June: Charmian, Nick and Chris land in Australia.
  • 20 June: Jimmy White is sentenced to 18 years after pleading guilty to robbery. 
  • 26 June: Bill Boal dies in prison.
  • 16 September: Buster Edwards and family leave Mexico for the UK. Edwards has decided he wants to give himself up. 
  • 19 September: Buster Edwards gives himself up. Sentenced to 15 years.
  • 9 December: Buster sentenced to 15 years.


  • 21 April:Farley Paul born in born in Glenelg Community Hospital in Adelaide, Australia.
  • 30 April: Reynolds moves from Mexico to the more familiar surroundings of the south of France.
  • May: After receiving a warning, the Biggs family move from Adelaide to Hibiscus Road in Melbourne. “Terence King” becomes “Terence Cook”. Charmian becomes “Sharon”. 
  • 8 August: “Robbery”, starring Stanley Baker and directed by Peter Yates, opens in London. Producer Michael Deeley had bought the film rights to Peta Fordham’s book, “A Robber’s Tale”. For legal reasons, the film company decide to make it fictional. 
  • 22 September: Reynolds returns to the UK from the south of France. 


  • 25 January: Charlie Wilson arrested in Canada. Detective Chief Superintendent Tommy Butler, supported by the Mounties, makes the arrest.
  • 4 August: Bruce Reynolds takes Frances and his son Nick to visit Bridego Bridge, the scene of the robbery. It is just three days before the 5th anniversary of the robbery.
  • 8 November: Bruce Reynolds is arrested at Villa Cap Martin in Torquay, Devon, by Detective Chief Superintendent Tommy Butler.


  • 14 January: Reynolds, hoping for a sentence similar to Edwards, pleads guilty. He is sentenced to 25 years at Buckinghamshire Assizes and sent to HMP Durham.
  • March: Frances Reynolds’ story is published in the UK in the Sunday Mirror and in Germany in Stern. To avoid the press she changes her name to Angela Conway.
  • 5-26 March: Frances Reynolds’ story is published in The Australian Women’s Weekly over four weeks. It includes photos of Ronnie Biggs.
  • July: Biggs has a bad car crash in Melbourne that results in a broken jaw and teeth. 
  • 16 October: Biggs’ photo broadcast on Australian television.The police believe Biggs is working as a carpenter in Western Australia. 
  • 17 October: Police raid the Biggs’ house in Melbourne. They miss Biggs by hours but arrest Charmian.
  • Biggs hides out in a house called Blue Waters, high up in the Dandenong Mountains that flank one side of Melbourne.
  • 24 October: Eric Flower is arrested in Sydney, along with his wife and child.
  • November: Alfie Gerrard, who helped Biggs and Flower in the UK after their escape, is tracked to Sydney and arrested. Biggs moves in with Mike and Jess Haynes.
  • 14 December: Eric Flower is returned to the UK and HMP Wandsworth. 


  • January: Biggs gets to meet up with Charmian for the first time since being discovered in Australia. 
  • 5 February: Biggs boards SS Ellinis in Melbourne
  • 23 February: SS Ellinis docks in Panama. Three days later Biggs flies from Panama to Caracas. 
  • 28 February: Train driver, Jack Mills, dies of lymphatic leukaemia. A coroner makes it clear that his death is in no way a result of what happened to him at the robbery.
  • 11 March: Biggs Lands in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 20 April:l Det. Chief Superintendent Tommy Butler dies.
  • 26 June: Bill Boal, the forgotten innocent man of the Great Train Robbery, dies in prison.
  • September: Side trip from Rio to Buenos Aires to renew visa.


  • 5 January: Eldest son, Nicholas, dies in a car crash in Australia.
  • February News of Nicholas’ death reaches Rio.
  • February First Carnival in Rio.
  • March Side trip to Bolivia to renew visa.
  • April First apartment in Rio de Janeiro.
  • April Roger Cordrey, first of the “gang” to be released from prison.
  • July Meets Raimunda for the first time at the Bola Preta.
  • September Visa in passport is no longer valid in Brazil.


  • Charmian asks Biggs to return to Australia.
  • Mike Haynes asks for his passport back.


  • February: Biggs manages to send the passport to Australia.
  • July: Haynes family returns to UK.
  • November: Biggs talks with Benckendorff about giving himself up.
  • December: Benckendorff travels to London and meets with Colin Mackenzie of the Daily Express.


  • January: First contact with Daily Express’ Colin Mackenzie.
  • 30 January: Mackenzie arrives in Rio to meet with Biggs
  • 1 February: Biggs is arrested by Jack Slipper in room 909 in the Trocadero Hotel in Copacabana. (Now the Arena Copacabana Hotel at Avenida Atlantica, 2064).
  • 4 February: Det Chief Inspector Jack Slipper returns to London without Biggs.
  • 7 February: Biggs is transferred from Rio to prison in Brasilia.
  • 10 February: Charmian arrives in Brasilia.
  • 16 February: Biggs & Charmian “hold” press conference.
  • March: Fernand Legros deported by Brazil to France. Michael Haynes is prosecuted in Australia for helping Biggs. He serves time at Beechworth Prison, Victoria. 
  • April: Family Court confirms paternity of Raimunda’s expectant child.
  • 6 May: Biggs is released from custody. A court orders that Biggs should be released and be ‘deported’, but not ‘extradited’.
  • 16 May: Charmian, Chris and Farley arrive in Brazil and stay until 5 June.
  • 16 August: Michael Fernand Nascimento de Castro Biggs born.
  • 8 November: Lord Lucan disappears.


  • Colin Mackenzie publishes “Ronald Biggs: The Most Wanted Man”.
  • January: Raimunda and Mike travel to England.
  • January: Biggs moves family to Sepetiba.
  • February: Mike christened in France. Legros acts as godfather.
  • April: Buster Edwards and Jimmy White released.
  • August: Roy James, first of the “30 years” to be released.
  • September: Raimunda returns to Europe for second visit.
  • October: Buster Edwards sent back to prison for six months for stealing clothes from Harrods.
  • November: Jim Hussey released.
  • November: Press discover Biggs in Sepetiba.
  • December: Gordon Goody released.


  • February: Tommy Wisbey released.
  • June: Bobby Welch released.
  • July: Gary van Dyk visits Rio de Janeiro to explain to Biggs the premise of Piers Paul Read’s  “The Train Robbers” and the “German” connection. The train robbers are to jointly write a book with Read for W.H.Allen. 


  • February: Piers Paul Read visits Rio to talk with Biggs bout the book and the German connection. He is shocked to hear from Biggs that part of it is not true. 
  • 15-17 April: After Biggs visits a Royal Naval warship in Rio de Janeiro, the HMS Danae, a diplomatic incident between Brazil and the UK is narrowly avoided.


  • February: Sex Pistols visit Brazil. Steve Jones and Paul Cook, along with manager Malcolm McLaren, meet Biggs and records and film. 
  • March: Raimunda returns to Brazil from Europe.
  • March: Piers Paul Read’s “The Train Robbers”  is published in the UK.
  • April:  Biggs has Top Ten Hit in UK with “No One Is Innocent” by the Sex Pistols.
  • 6 June: Bruce Reynolds released  after serving ten years.
  • 30 June: Sex Pistols’ “No One Is Innocent (A Punk Prayer)” is released with Biggs singing lead vocal. The song, the Sex Pistols’ 5th single, goes to number six in the UK charts. 
  • November: Charlie Wilson released. Last of the imprisoned robbers to be released.


  • April: A kidnap attempt on Biggs in Rio by John Miller, Fred Prime and Norman (“Norrie”) Boyle is thwarted. The men pretend to be linked to the film crew shooting James Bond’s “Moonraker” and try to get Biggs to fly to the set of the film for a cameo role in the film. The men are expelled from Brazil, but are not charged.
  • Biggs moves from Sepetiba back to Santa Teresa in Rio.
  • 28 April: Brian Field, the link to the ‘Ulsterman’, dies in a car crash .


  • Albert Spagiarr, France’s most wanted man, visits Biggs in Rio.
  • Premier of the Sex Pistols’ “The Great Rock & Roll Swindle,” a film directed by Julien Temple that features the band with Ronnie Biggs. 


  • February: Biggs moves from Santa Teresa to Botafogo.
  • March: “Ronnie Biggs: His Own Story” published in London.
  • 9 March: Biggs agrees to be interviewed in Rio by Patrick King for National Geographic
  • 16 March: Biggs is kidnapped from the Roda Viva restaurant in Rio where he has gone to meet King. He is bundled into a bag and flown by a private plane from Rio to Belem and put on the yacht Nowcani II. 
  • 23 March: Biggs is landed in Barbados after the Nowcani II breaks down. He is arrested but his kidnappers are allowed to go free and encouraged to leave the island.
  • 5 April: Biggs’ first hearing before a magistrates’ court in Barbados. Biggs, they say, will be sent back to the UK.
  • 24 April: Biggs’ case is dismissed after the prosecution is shown to have made some serious legal errors in its case. Biggs is a free man and returns to Rio de Janeiro from Barbados forty days after being kidnapped. He flies by a private jet paid for by ITV and Brazil’s TV Globo.
  • May: Charmian with Farley visits Biggs in Rio. They stay for just four days. 
  • Release of first Turma do Balão Magico album.
  • December: Christmas show at Maracana Stadium.


  • On tour with Turma do Balão Magico.
  • Turma do Balão Magico given own show by TV Globo.
  • June: Biggs starts selling his “I know someone who went to Brazil and met Ronnie Biggs… honest!” t-shirt.
  • December: Second Christmas show at Maracana Stadium.
  • Roy James and Charlie Wilson charged with £2.5 milliion .


  • 17 February: The Police finally catch up with Ronnie Biggs in Rio. But this is the group fronted by Sting.
  • October: Release of second Turma do Balão Magico album.
  • Touring with Turma do Balão Magico.
  • December: Third Christmas show at Maracana Stadium.


  • February: Biggs buys apartment for Mike at 470 Rua Monte Alegre in Santa Teresa.
  • Filming of Long Time No See Ronnie for Japanese TV.
  • Opening of Crepúsculo de Cubatão nightclub.
  • Biggs invests in restaurant in Buzios.
  • December: Fourth Christmas show at Maracana Stadium.
  • British Rail Class 40 Diesel Engine D326 (later 40126), the Engine that pulled the train, is withdrawn from service and cut up for scrap in Doncaster.


  • January: Biggs and Mike move into their own Santa Teresa apartment.
  • July: Biggs holds a party to celebrate 20 years on the run. Charmian, his first wife; Raimunda, mother of Mike; and Ulla, his partner in Brazil, are all present. 


  • Turma do Balão Magico disband.The band has sold over 10 million albums and is the 20th most successful Brazilian acts of all time. 
  • Biggs meets Polish film director Lech Majewski.
  • Biggs and Majewski start work on the screenplay for “Prisoner of Rio“.


  • July: Cameras role on “Prisoner of Rio”.


  • February: Charmian visits Biggs in Rio along with Chris and Farley. Biggs shows them carnival before Charmian goes off to visit Peru and Bolivia. Farley celebrates his 21st birthday in Rio on 21 April with Biggs, Charmian and Chris. 
  • 12 May: “Prisoner of Rio” is screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Mike Biggs attends
  • 8 August: Virgin Books publish “Biggsy’s Bible: The World’s Most Wanted Book“. It includes sections on how to bring up your child as a criminal and how to get rich quick.
  • 15 September: The world premiere of “Buster” takes place at the Odeon Leicester Square. 


  • August Tommy Wisbey and Jimmy Hussey convicted of trafficking cocaine.


  • 24 April: Charlie Wilson is found murdered at his villa in Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol. 
  • July: Paul Seabourne, who was the key figure in helping Biggs to escape from HMP Wandsworth, visits Biggs in Rio
  • 27 July: An arrest Warrant is issued for Biggs at Bow Street Magistrates Court. The same document will be used when he returns to the UK in 2001.


  • January: In Rio de Janeiro to perform at Rock in Rio 2 in the Maracana stadium, the Happy Mondays visit Biggs accompanied by Piers Morgan who is covering the festival for ‘The Sun.’
  • March: Steven Berkoff publishes “A Prisoner in Rio“, his account of making the film and meeting Biggs. 
  • April: Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, visits Rio with Prince Charles. The British press want Biggs to meet Diana, but he declines.
  • Bruce and Nicholas Reynolds visit Rio.
  • The German rock band, Die Toten Hosen, visit Biggs in Rio and record “Carnival in Rio (Punk Was)“, “Police on My Back” and a cover on “No One is Innocent” with him. It is the start of a long friendship and collaboration.


  • 16 August: Mike Biggs’ 18th birthday.
  • October: Biggs decides to write his memoirs. Biggs becomes computer literate.
  • 26 December: Lord Edmund Davies, the judge at the Great Train Robbery trial, dies. 


  • March: Biggs starts work proper on “Odd Man Out”.
  • 6 May: Roy James arrested for shooting at his father-in-law.
  • June: Jack Slipper visits Biggs in Rio for the Sunday Express.
  • 8 August: 30th Anniversary of the Great Train Robbery.
  • “When I’m 64” – Biggs’ 64th Birthday.
  • October: Biggs completes the manuscript to “Odd Man Out“, helped by Chris Pickard.


  • 21 January: “Ronald Biggs: Odd Man Out“, published in London by Bloomsbury.
  • 28 November: Buster Edwards is found hanged in his lock up on the corner of Greet Street and Brad Street, close to Waterloo Station.


  • 5 February: Biggs is a guest of the Rolling Stones for their Voodoo Lounge show at the Maracana Stadium.
  • Biggs breaks his leg after a fall in Rio.
  • Uri Geller visits Rio and Biggs asks him to heal his leg.
  • April: Bruce Reynolds publishes “Autobiography of a Thief” to much acclaim. 
  • 18 July: The UK and Brazilian Foreign Secretaries, Malcolm Rifkind and Luiz Felipe Lamprea, sign a new extradition treaty between the UK and Brazil. 
  • August: Nick Reynolds flies to Rio to do a cast of Biggs for his ‘Heroes & Villains’ and ‘Cons to Icons’ collections. Roy “Pretty Boy” Shaw is also there.
  • 31 October:
  • After the success of “Odd Man Out“, Biggs writes a novel with his ‘ghost’, Chris Pickard. “Keep On Running“, published by Bloomsbury, is loosely based on the ‘Ulsterman’ and the three train robbers who got away and were never charged. Some papers take it to be the truth, including that packages of South African diamonds were on the train.


  • 21 July: Assistant Chief Constable Gerard McArthur dies. 


  • New extradition treaty between Brazil and UK becomes law. 
  • 29 October: Brazilian Supreme Court rejects a request by the British Government to extradite Biggs.
  • 20 August: Roy James dies of heart disease.


  • February: Unidos do Porto da Pedra samba school honours Ron at carnival with with “Samba no pé e mãos ao alto, isto é um assalto” (Stick ‘em up, put your hands in the air and samba on your feet.) It is a rare honour for non-Brazilians to be the theme of a major samba school’s parade.
  • Ulla Sopher, Biggs’ longtime girlfriend dies in her sleep.
  • Death of Biggs’ dogs Blitz and Lua.
  • 16 March: Biggs suffers his first stroke. Following stroke, temporarily unable to speak. Charmian visits Rio to help Biggs with his recovery. 
  • December: Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw visits Biggs for Christmas in Rio.


  • 8 August: Biggs celebrates his 70th birthday in style. 
  • Bruce Reynolds and his son Nick join him in Rio. Others attending include Roy Shaw, Tony Hoare, and Dave Courtney.
  • Anniversary of Great Train Robbery.
  • 17 September: Biggs launches campaign for hair piece.
  • 18 September: Biggs suffers second, more serious stroke, on 22 September, he suffers a third and far more serious stroke that leaves him without speech.
  • Steven Berkoff visits Biggs and notes: “The loss of his speech is a painful blow for a born gabber and a man who, as Hamlet says of Yorick, ‘could set the table on a road.’
  • November: Biggs Debilitated by his strokes, Biggs attempts suicide. He is saved by his son, Mike.


  • 22 January: Biggs becomes a grandfather. Birth of Ingrid, daughter of Mike and Veroncia.


  • 8 March: First contact is made with The Sun about Biggs’ possible return to the UK from Brazil. 
  • 6 April: Mike Sullivan and John Askill of The Sun fly to Rio to meet Biggs. 
  • 2 May: Biggs emails John Coles at Scotland Yard to say he wants to return.
  • 3 May: News of Biggs’ imminent return breaks in the global media in The Sun world exclusive.
  • 4 May: The Sun’s private plane, leased from TAG Aviation, departs from Farnborough to Rio. Bruce and Nick Reynolds are on board as guests of honour.
  • 6 May: Biggs receives an Emergency British Passport (E.P.196182). His first ever-genuine passport. He leaves Brazil on The Sun’s private plane that takes off from Rio’s International Airport.
  • 7 May: Biggs returns to the UK landing at RAF Northolt.
  • Biggs has been on the run for 13,068 days.
  • He is arrested by Detective Chief Superintendent John Coles, charged and transferred to the hospital wing of HMP Belmarsh, Britain’s highest security prison, via Chiswick Police Station and the West London Courthouse.
  • With 28 years of his sentence still to serve, Biggs is given his old prison number from Wandsworth: 002731. 
  • 2 June: Biggs collapses in HMP Belmarsh and is rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital following a fourth stroke. He is handcuffed to his bed. Biggs rushed to hospital on four occasions.
  • Biggs petitions for early release due to health.


  • 30 January: Criminal Cases Review Commission rejects an application to send Biggs’ case to the Court of Appeal.
  • 31 January: A two-hour, two-part documentary, “The Legend of Ronnie Biggs“, airs on Channel Five in the UK. 
  • 10 July: Biggs marries Mike’s mother, Raimunda Rothen at Belmarsh in front of 11 guests. The reception (without Biggs) is held in the Punch Bowl pub in Mayfair then owned by Freddie Foreman’s son, Greg. 
  • 24 July: Mike Biggs is granted British citizenship following the marriage of Biggs and Raimunda. Mike and Veronica, mother of Biggs granddaughter, Ingrid, wed. 


  • 8 August: 40th anniversary of Great Train Robbery
  • 2 October: A High Court judge throws out Biggs’ appeal against his sentence. The judge calls the appeal ‘hopeless’ and ‘misconceived’.


  • 6 January: A suspected heart attack sees Biggs return to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In August he is rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a fifth time. 


  • 14 March: The 60-minute documentary “Ronnie Biggs: Last Escape?” airs on Sky One in the UK.
  • Giovanni di Stefano becomes Biggs’ lawyer.
  • 10 August Biggs contacts MRSA
  • 24 August: After a long illness, Jack Slipper dies at the age of 81. Biggs asks permission to go to the funeral, but is refused.
  • 26 October: Appeal turned down by Home Secretary (Charles Clarke)
  • 28 November: Malcolm Fewtrell, Head of Buckinghamshire CID dies.


  • 22 April: Potential date of Biggs parole and release set for 2010.
  • 4 July: Biggs is transferred from HMP Belmarsh to HMP Norwich on “compassionate grounds”. Biggs has been held in Belmarsh for nearly 74 months.
  • Biggs is pleased to see that the roof he built at Norwich in 1958 is still standing.


  • June: Biggs case submitted to Parole Board
  • 8 August: 45th anniversary of Great Train Robbery


  • 13 February: Taken to hospital for three days with pneumonia.
  • 23 April: Biggs applies for parole. He is eligible for release on 3 July 2009 after he has served one-third of his sentence.
  • The decision is delayed while arrangements are made as to who will pay for the 24-hour care that Biggs will require. 
  • 15 June: The Parole Board recommends to Justice Secretary Jack Straw that Biggs be released; saying the risk of him reoffending is “manageable”. 
  • 28 June: Biggs is taken to Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital with a suspected broken hip and a chest infection. 
  • 1 July: While Biggs is in hospital he is refused parole by the Justice Secretary Jack Straw who says Biggs is “wholly unrepentant’.
  • 17 July: Biggs is transferred from hospital back to HMP Norwich. A Judicial Review is submitted. 
  • 28 July: Biggs is rushed back to Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital with severe pneumonia.
  • 30 July: A Judicial Review is granted by the High Court for Biggs’ right for parole. 
  • 6 August: Justice Secretary Jack Straw announces that he will free Biggs on compassionate grounds.
  • 7 August: Biggs, the last of the train robbers in prison, is released.
  • 8 August: 80th birthday.
  • He has served 3,875 days for his part in the Great Train Robbery out of a sentence of 10,957 days. He has also spent 13,068 days on the run. 
  • 17 August: Biggs is transferred from Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital to a nursing home in Barnet.
  •  September: Biggs starts work with Chris Pickard to update “Odd Man Out“.


  • 8 May: Birth of Biggs’ granddaughter Lilly.
  • August: Biggs visits Bridego Bridge. A photo is leaked to The Sun.
  • 4 December: Biggs visits the Emirates Stadium to see Arsenal play.


  • 27 March: Biggs visits the Emirates Stadium to see Brazil play Scotland.
  • 12 April: Biggs goes to the cinema to see ‘Rio‘.
  • 7 May: 10th anniversary of Biggs return to UK.
  • 25 May: Biggs visits Southend.
  • 17 November: Biggs publishes his final updated autobiography, “Ronnie Biggs – Odd Man Out: The Last Straw“.
  • It is launched at Shoreditch House in East London where he gives his first press conference in the UK. Mike Biggs and Nick Reynolds are there to support him. The media are out in force.


  • 1 January: Biggs is back at number one on the Death List. His 13th appearance on the list.
  • 28 February : Bruce Reynolds dies in his sleep at his home in Croydon. His son Nick is with him. 
  • 20 March: The funeral of Bruce Reynolds is held at St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, London. Biggs and Bob Welch attend the funeral.
  • 10 April: The death of John Daly from a rare disease that has led to multiple organ failure.
  • 8 August: 50th anniversary of Great Train Robbery and the 84th birthday of Ronnie Biggs.
  • Launch of “The Great Train Robbery: Crime of the Century” by Bruce and Nick Reynolds, Biggs and Chris Pickard.
  • 18 December: Death of Ronnie Biggs.


  • 3 January: Funeral of Ronnie Biggs at Golders Green Crematorium.