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Discuss Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE in Diamond Lil's on Navy Net; I found an interesting little story in the archive section of today's Guardian, which is short enough to reprint in full. Probably the Mob's finest hour; any of you wizened old salts on board when ...
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    Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    I found an interesting little story in the archive section of today's Guardian, which is short enough to reprint in full.
    Probably the Mob's finest hour; any of you wizened old salts on board when this happened? I have this funny feeling that the mess in question managed to hold nigh on 34,234 bods that night...

    Guardian archive.


    Broadside for Navy on great drinks robbery

    The Defence Secretary, Mr Fred Mulley, is to face a series of awkward questions about how the Great Train Robber, Mr Ronald Biggs, came to be invited for drinks on board a British naval frigate visiting Rio de Janeiro.

    The Navy confirmed yesterday that Mr Biggs, who successfully fought extradition from Brazil in 1974, had been drinking on board HMS Danae with a number of sailors. By the time the office of the watch had been alerted, Mr Biggs had returned to shore. The squadron is now at sea.

    The extraordinary incident is doubly embarrassing for the Minister of Defence and the Navy, which is making rapid and exhaustive inquiries into the circumstances.

    First, Mr Biggs was technically under British sovereignty for a brief spell, and felt able to come and go with impunity. Secondly, it would appear that sailors are able to invite anyone they please on board without their officers necessarily knowing.

    Mr Gwilym Roberts, the Labour MP, yesterday said he was tabling a Commons question seeking a statement from Mr Mulley and asking that the Ministry should send circulars instructing captains of naval vessels to scrutinise more carefully civilians invited on board in foreign ports.

    Mr Roberts said: "I have heard of Government hospitality, but this is ridiculous."

    Mr Biggs, who escaped from Wandsworth prison 10 years ago, said he had felt homesick when he saw the "old flag" of the 11-vessel British task force visiting Rio harbour, spoke to a group of sailors, and accepted their invitation aboard.

    After many cans of beer had been drunk one of the sailors told Mr Biggs that he was under arrest. Mr Biggs said it was not clear whether this was meant as a joke. But he said the other sailors shouted out, "Don't you touch our Biggsy," and "Over our dead bodies," and he was able to leave the frigate without hindrance.

    When he escaped from Wandsworth, Mr Biggs had served less than two years of a 30-year sentence for his part in the £2.6 million robbery of a mail train in 1963.

    The visit to HMS Danae was welcomed by some of the ratings for whom Mr Biggs gave a return party at the weekend in his house at Sepetiba, 25 miles south of Rio.

    Although under a deportation order for entering Brazil with a false passport after leaving Australia in 1969, Mr Biggs can only be deported, by court order, to a country which will not send him on to Britain, with whom Brazil has no extradition treaty.

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    Senior Member scouse's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    I was on the Danae the Previous Commission, Ships flights aircrewman. The fisheads fired off a ASW mortar into Rio Harbour during user checks!!!! Also they had tee shirts printed with " Ronnie Biggs was here and said good Int it"

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    Senior Member WreckerL's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    Quote Originally Posted by scouse
    I was on the Danae the Previous Commission, Ships flights aircrewman. The fisheads fired off a ASW mortar into Rio Harbour during user checks!!!! Also they had tee shirts printed with " Ronnie Biggs was here and said good Int it"
    I was on Mechs course with the greenie who claimed he was the cause of that firing. According to him, they left a practice round in the mortar MK10 and when he swung through the firing circuit with a bridge meggar away it went, Don't know if thats possible but a good dit.
    Sh1t shot, pumping slop.

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    Senior Member scouse's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    Ronnies up for Parole today. Hope the old boy, gets lucky

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    Member Pete_N's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    If he does get released then maybe he could be invited aboard the new T45 so that he can get a first hand look at how the Navy has modernised since his last visit...

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    Senior Member Rumrat's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    Quote Originally Posted by scouse
    Ronnies up for Parole today. Hope the old boy, gets lucky
    Well he sure got no justice in '63, 30 years for nicking £2.3 million,
    but its 15 for murder.
    I wonder if it had not been Gov funds what he would have got.?


    When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child.
    When I became a man I joined Rum Ration, it was a natural progression.
    But with swearing.

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    Senior Member scouse's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete_N
    If he does get released then maybe he could be invited aboard the new T45 so that he can get a first hand look at how the Navy has modernised since his last visit...
    Nice One Might need permission from P.T. and S.D. though????

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    Senior Member tiddlyoggy's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    I've met loads of people who claim to have been onboard then, but as C_A_T suggests, I think this has become something of a "Fleet Dit".
    "What do you want to do when you grow up son?"
    "Join the navy."
    "Well you can't do both!"

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    Senior Member scouse's Avatar
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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    Quote Originally Posted by tiddlyoggy
    I've met loads of people who claim to have been onboard then, but as C_A_T suggests, I think this has become something of a "Fleet Dit".
    Try this from
    Don Coulter
    I served on the Danae from late 76 -78 greatest Highlight was when No Other than Ronnie Biggs came aboard in Rio and was swiftly taken to the Ro's Mess . and the then Naffi Manager got a whole load of T Shirts Printed Good on here In'it...Ronnie Biggs said so!!! Was on her 72 commish.Ship aground/Wasp totaled and 2 for murder, now thats a dit!!!

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    Re: Ronnie Biggs on the DANAE

    I wasn't onboard the ship but remember the incident well from the press coverage. Not only was Ronnie onboard there was a damning photo of him in the messdeck with a can in his hand splashed all over the tabloids. Given that this was well before the days of digital cameras and internet access it smacks of someone onboard making a tidy sum selling the story and pics! Embarrassing for the RN, the CO and OOD? You bet it was!
    Coco Pops........

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