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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... :wink:

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.
 

scouse

War Hero
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" :lol: :lol:
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
scouse said:
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" :lol: :lol:

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.
 

Pete_N

Badgeman
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...
 

Rumrat

War Hero
scouse said:
:wink: 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.?
 

scouse

War Hero
Pete_N said:
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 :lol: :lol: Might need permission from P.T. and S.D. though????
 

tiddlyoggy

War Hero
Book Reviewer
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".
 

scouse

War Hero
tiddlyoggy said:
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".
:wink: :wink: 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!!! :wink: :wink: Was on her 72 commish.Ship aground/Wasp totaled and 2 for murder, now thats a dit!!!
 
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!
 

Stripey_G

War Hero
Was serving on Euryalus at the time and was with Danae together with the 7th Frigate Squadron in Rio..the incident did happen, much to the embarrasment of CO.

A further spin to that story continued when the 7th Frigate Squdron was at Spithead review for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in '77. We had just arrived back from Rio and two rating from each ship in the Squadron were invited to the Royal Yacht. I was one from Euryalus, and together with about 150 other bods mustered on the Yacht to "meet the Royals"....Anyways, I was stood with a rating from the Danae and as the Queenie poos walked past, she stopped and asked me (basically) if Rio had been a good run! "Yes" I said, and at that this plonker from Danae pipes up "we had Ronnie Biggs on board!!!".... Never have I seen so many Admirals and the like decend on this now quivering soul!!....One tried not to laugh, as it's not the done thing in front of the queen of England eh?? 8O :lol:
 

diesel

Lantern Swinger
Rumrat said:
scouse said:
:wink: 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.?

Sorry RR but a guard got battered and later died of his injuries. They all then became accomplices to murder/manslaughter whatever.

The guard is still dead I believe but I doubt his family have forgotten.
 

F106

Lantern Swinger
yep agree leave the fucka in jail as an example he was lording it over us for years now hes getting his cummuppance good fuckin riddance
 

scouse

War Hero
diesel said:
Rumrat said:
scouse said:
:wink: 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.?

Sorry RR but a guard got battered and later died of his injuries. They all then became accomplices to murder/manslaughter whatever.

The guard is still dead I believe but I doubt his family have forgotten.
Buster Edwards coshed driver Jack Mills / I was living in Crewe at this time where he lived. Jack Mills, who was 58 at the time of robbery, never fully recovered from his injuries, and never returned to work. In 1970 he died of leukemia which an inquest confirmed, perhaps unsurprisingly, was unrelated to his injuries. As an innocent victim in such an infamous crime, he is very often mentioned when the subject is raised in the press.
 

jesse

War Hero
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... :wink:

Guardian archive.
Almost as many as those on the balcony then.!
 

Bud.

Midshipman
Myself(Bud Abbott), Slinger woods, Harry Booth and Steve Tones, all of us RO's, were ashore in Rio when Ronnie Biggs introduced himself to us. We then went drinking with him and took several photos of us with him, (I still have one). He told us everything about the great train robbery and was generally a very interesting bloke. We were already half pissed when we took him onboard. Contrary to what the Navy say, the officer of the watch was actually on the flight deck when we went aboard and he saw Biggs but didn't say anything. He was onboard a lot longer than 20mins despite what was said in parliament, the mountains of tinnies were testament to that. The bloke that tried to arrest him was a guy called Dave Allport, a brummie. He was given short shrift. The officer of the day did eventually come into the mess and ask Biggs to leave. We saw him several times ashore after this. We then sailed for a week with the Brazilian Navy for exercises. Biggs told us he was going to arrange a big party for when we went back into Rio the following week, loads of beers and birds he said. Meanwhile the shit had hit the fan in Whitehall and the skipper had been asked to explain. Commander Ainger came down the mess deck and asked/told us not to attend as it was likely the press had been tipped off. As we all liked our Captain we agreed not to go and we never saw Biggs again. Later, someone who never even met Biggs had some shirts printed. So there you have it, straight from the horses mouth.
 

soleil

War Hero



Mr Lipton asked the Secretary of State for Defence in what circumstances Ronald Biggs, wanted by the police for the Great Train Robbery, was allowed on board HMS "Danae" at Rio de Janeiro.

 
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WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Myself(Bud Abbott), Slinger woods, Harry Booth and Steve Tones, all of us RO's, were ashore in Rio when Ronnie Biggs introduced himself to us. We then went drinking with him and took several photos of us with him, (I still have one). He told us everything about the great train robbery and was generally a very interesting bloke. We were already half pissed when we took him onboard. Contrary to what the Navy say, the officer of the watch was actually on the flight deck when we went aboard and he saw Biggs but didn't say anything. He was onboard a lot longer than 20mins despite what was said in parliament, the mountains of tinnies were testament to that. The bloke that tried to arrest him was a guy called Dave Allport, a brummie. He was given short shrift. The officer of the day did eventually come into the mess and ask Biggs to leave. We saw him several times ashore after this. We then sailed for a week with the Brazilian Navy for exercises. Biggs told us he was going to arrange a big party for when we went back into Rio the following week, loads of beers and birds he said. Meanwhile the shit had hit the fan in Whitehall and the skipper had been asked to explain. Commander Ainger came down the mess deck and asked/told us not to attend as it was likely the press had been tipped off. As we all liked our Captain we agreed not to go and we never saw Biggs again. Later, someone who never even met Biggs had some shirts printed. So there you have it, straight from the horses mouth.
I was on boats with a stoker from the Danae,"Sherlock" Holmes although he'd left the Danae 4 months before. I also had a boat with a Dave Allport, who was a greenie, did the Dave A you knew later join boats?
 
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