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Tommy Wisbey, Great Train Robber – obituary

Tommy Wisbey arriving at Aylesbury courtroom, October 1963 Credit: Popperfoto/Getty

Tommy Wisbey, who has died aged 86, was thought to be the penultimate survivor of the gang known as the Great Train Robbers and one of the lesser lights in a criminal enterprise which the judge at their trial noted was unexampled in its impudence and enormity.

Wisbey’s role in the gang’s assault on the Glasgow to London night mail train, which had been halted in the middle of the night at a remote spot in the Buckinghamshire countryside in August 1963, was that of enforcer. More renowned for his brawn than his brain, he was recruited to pack punches in the event of the robbery descending into a fight between the thieves and the sorting staff in the mail vans containing sacks of banknotes to a value of £2,631,684.

On the night, unlike most of the gang, Wisbey went armed, with a bludgeon. He was observed smashing the tiny windows of the mail coaches with an enormous crowbar, although he seems...

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