Railway staff at Crewe will be holding a Memorial Service at 3pm on 8th august to mark the 50th anniversary of the Great train Robbery.
The Crewe-based driver of the Glasgow-to- Euston mail train, Jack Mills, was coshed by the gang and never fully recovered. His secondman, David Whitby, also based at Crewe, was attacked by the gang and thrown down the embankment.
Northwest railway chaplain, the Reverend Dr Richard Cook, is organising the special service which will be held in the old drivers mess room on platform 12. Once a guard with BR himself Rev. Cook has worked the same numbered mail train as Mills and Whitby, 1M44.
‘Over the years the media tend to forget the victims and remember the Robin Hood aspect of robbing a train,’ says Richard who also mentioned that people in Crewe still remember the train driver and secondman who suffered, as did the postal workers on the train. The service is being held at 1500hrs. The robbery itself took place at three in the morning.
‘We didn’t think we’d get much of a turn out at that time so it’s at three in the afternoon,’ says Richard. The Reverend Cook is Free Church minister and BTP chaplain.
On 8 August 1963 a London gang lead by Bruce Reynolds held up the south bound mail train by tampering with the signal lights south of Linslade in Buckinghamshire. Over £2.6 million, the equivalent of £41 million today, was stolen. Jack Mills died in 1970 of leukaemia and David Whitby died of a heart attack aged 34. The service is open to all.