Luton historian uncovers mystery of the Great Train robbers who got away after historic Bucks crime

A Luton headmaster and historian has published his second book on the fate of the Great Train robbers after their historic Bucks crime.

By Lynn Hughes
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 1:40 pm
Is this one of the mysterious four Great Train robbers who got away
Is this one of the mysterious four Great Train robbers who got away

Andrew Cook’s book, ‘No Case to Answer’, covers the four robbers who are believed to have escaped justice after the 1963 infamous raid on a Royal Mail train at Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire.

Sixteen men were believed to have been involved in the robbery, netting themselves around £3m each in today’s money.

Although most of them were swiftly apprehended, and many of them served jail terms, four are believed to have escaped.

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Andrew’ whose first book on the crime, The Great Train Robbery, the Untold Story, attracted the attention of Chris Chibnall of Broadchurch and Dr Who fame, for a TV series in 2013, believes he has a small connection to the case. He recalls his mum saying they were held up in a police roadblock in the area after returning from a holiday.

In 2019 he was contacted by Channel 4 about the possibility of a documentary on the ones who got away, and using privileged access to police and Royal Mail files as well as downtime during the pandemic, he was able to complete the project.

"I’ve always been interested in what happened to the money and how you could hide that amount of cash,” he said. “There was a lot of thought went into the robbery but not much about afterwards.”

The book tells of a cold case unit set up by the Serious Crime Squad to target an international fraud conspiracy.

Stories of illegal phone tapping by the police in 1963, a Pink Panther style jewel heist in France, the South London Richardson gang and a mineral mine in South Africa were all uncovered in the investigation.

Andrew has written 14 books over the past 20 years covering such diverse subjects as the execution of the Russian Royal Family, Ace of Spies and Jack the Ripper.

He is now looking for his next project, which includes an investigation into how the Beatles really got their big break, and the true story behind Pirate Radio.

The head of Moorlands Grammar School said: “I look at a few projects and see where the evidence takes me. Every project is different.”

Andrew’s book is available at bookshops and on Amazon.