South London cabbie revealed to be one of the Great Train Robbers

It's been revealed that a member of the notorious Great Train Robbery gang was a south London cabbie.

Danny Pembroke, was questioned by police after the robbery, but was never charged due to insufficient evidence.

Pembroke spent 2 years in the US after moving to Florida in the wake of the robbery, but subsequently came back to the UK, living in Kent until his death in 2015, aged 79.

The revelation comes after Pembroke's son Danny spoke about his father's involvement during a new Channel 4 documentary on the £2.6million heist.

Pembroke never admitted to his involvement in the robbery during his lifetime, despite police questioning.

He descended into crime at the age of 20 and was believed to be a member of a criminal gang called the South Coast Raiders.

The gang helped carry out the robbery, which took place at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn, in Buckinghamshire on 8 August 1963.

Upon returning from the US, Pembroke settled in Chislehurst, Kent, becoming a black cab driver before dying from a heart attack.

According to the Daily Mail, Pembroke's share of the robbery amounted to £150,000.

Some of the 15 strong gang spent up to 30 years behind bars for the robbery, which saw train driver Jack Mills coshed over the head, leading to serious injuries and possibly contributing to his death in 1970 according to members of his family. 

Bobby Welch is the sole surviving member of the gang who attacked a Royal Mail train on its way from Glasgow to London. Most of the £2.6million haul, which would equate to £46million today, was never recovered.

What happened to the gang?

  • Gang leader Bruce Reynolds was given a 25 year jail term. He was released from prison in 1978 and died in 2013.

  • Ronnie Biggs was given a 30 year sentence for his part in the robbery. He absconded from Wandsworth prison by jumping over a wall in 1965 and remained a fugitive for 36 years living in Australia and South America before returning to the UK in 2001. He was then sent back to prison to serve out his sentence, before being released in 2009 on compassionate grounds. He died in 2013.

  • Buster Edwards is the man who allegedly coshed train driver Jack Mills. After serving 9 years in prison he went on to run a flower stall in Waterloo. Edwards, who was the subject of the hit film Buster, was found hanged in 1994, aged 62.

  • Brian Field was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but served only 5 years.. He was killed in a car crash in 1979.

  • Tommy Wisbey received a 30 year sentence for his part in the robbery, he died due to a stroke in 2017 aged 86.

  • Charlie Wilson was sentenced to a 30 year jail term. He escaped after 4 months inside. He was recaptured in Canada 4 years later, and released from prison in 1978. After moving to Marbella, Spain, he was shot dead by a hitman in 1990.

  • Roy James was jailed for 30 years. He served 12 years in prison before being released and moving to Spain. He died aged 62.

  • Bill Boal was an engineer, he was jailed for 24 years, he died while in jail in 1970.

  • James Hussey was sentenced to 30 years in prison and was released in 1975, he died in 2012 aged 79.

  • Gordon Goody was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. He was released in 1975. Goody died from heart failure in 2016, aged 86.

  • Roger Cordrey was jailed for 20 years and released in 1971. He is now dead.

  • Jimmy White was sentenced to 18 years. He was released in 1975 and has since died.

  • John Wheater was a solicitor, he served a 3 year prison term and is believed to be dead.

  • Leonard Field was sentenced to 25 years. He was released in 1967. Field is believed to be dead.

  • The only surviving member of the gang, Bobby Welch, was jailed for 30 years and released in 1976.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Image Author: Spborthwick

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