RON KRAY 1933 - 1995

 

On 17th March 1995 at the age of sixty one Ronnie Kray died from a heart attack. His brother Charlie heard the news , not from Broadmoor, where Ronnie was being held, but from a friend, writer Robin McGibbon, who, in turn, heard it from someone else. Reggie was in Maidstone prison and he was told by someone who had heard it on the radio. They were devastated not only by the death of their brother but also by the way they were given the news.

Charlie telephoned Reggie to give him the bad news but he already knew. The next day, Charlie went to Maidstone prison to comfort his brother and to discuss the funeral arrangements. Charlie said that he would handle the funeral, but Reg insisted that he should do it beause he had plenty of time on his hands being locked up all day. Charlie understood what Reg was going through at the loss of his other half and agreed that he should do it.

When the Twins were younger, Ron had always said that when he died he would like to have his coffin pulled by six black horses. Reg was going to make sure that he would have what he wanted.

Ronnie was laid out at English's funeral parlour in Bethnal Geen Road. Reg was allowed to see him in the chapel of rest, three days before the funeral.

On the day of the funeral the whole of the East End stood still. Thousands of people lined Bethnal Green Road to pay their last respects and to get a glimpse of Reg. The Kray Twins had not been forgotten by the local community.

The area around the funeral parlour was cordonned off and the police and Reg's security team, headed by Dave Courtenay, contolled the crowds.

When Reg arrived , he was handcuffed to a prison officer with three others in attendance.

The procession to St Matthews church, which included twenty six limousines, went past where they used to live in Vallance road, the houses now knocked down to provide flats for the ever expanding East End population.

Six black horses pulled the hearse that was overflowing with floral tributes. The pallbearers were gangsters that represented the four areas of London with, Johhny Nash from North London, Teddy Dennis from the west, Charlie Kray from the East and Frankie Fraser from the south. Unfortunaley Frankie Fraser had to decline the offer, not because they had once been rivals but because Frankie was not tall enough to keep the coffin straight. Freddie Foreman a great friend of the Twins, stepped in to take his place. Frank walked with Reg behind the coffin.

Reggie was handcuffed throughout the service.

The route to the cemetery was lined with well wishers, a distance of six miles.
After the funeral Reg was driven straight back to Maidstone prison to wallow in his grief and perhaps wonder, if he too will die in prison just like Ron.

It has been said that English have never been paid in full for the funeral, but a spokesman for the company said that this is not true and that the account was settled some years ago..