End of an Era
Within five years of each other all of the Kray brothers were dead.

Ronnie 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 to discuss the funeral arrangements. Charlie said that he would handle the funeral, but Reg insisted that he should do it because 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 Green 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 cordoned off and police and Reg's security team, headed by self styled gangster, Dave Courtney, controlled 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. Unfortunately 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 would 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..

Charlie Kray----------1927 - 2000
In 1997 Charlie was arrested for trying to supply cocaine to the value of £39 million.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. His appeal against the sentence was turned down and faced a very bleak future.
His health deteriorated and was admitted to Dryburn hospital in Durham on 28th of July 1999 with a very bad chest infection. He was treated and returned to prison.
He was later moved to Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight .
It soon became clear that Charlie was suffering from a heart condition and in February the following year he was again admitted to hospital.
His health was so bad that Reg was transferred from Wayland Prison to Parkhurst so that he could be with his older brother for what was to be the last time.
On the 4th of April 2000, after two weeks in hospital, Charlie died of complications due to his condition.

Charlie Kray had more bad luck than most doing many years in prison for something he didnít do and then to this last episode where he was set up by the police to secure a conviction and place him once again behind bars. Sadly, for the last time.

Mick Gallagher author of www.thekrays.co.uk and www.madfrankiefraser.co.uk web sites remembers the day of the funeral:

If there was ever a great day for a funeral, the day they buried Charlie Kray was it.
The morning started off wet and windy but by the time we had gathered outside W English the undertakers, the sun had broken through to reveal the most glorious of days.
Hundreds of people packed the pavements and rooftops surrounding the funeral parlour to say their last goodbyes to Charlie Kray but also to get a glimpse of his brother Reg who has spent the last 32 years of his life in prison.
The funeral cars were overflowing with flowers, one, a broken heart from Charlie's girlfriend, Diane which read "To my darling Charlie, with my eyes wide open, am I dreaming, can it be time?" A boxing ring of flowers from his brother read "Dear Charlie, rest in peace, Love Reg and Rob" and 3ft high boxing gloves were sent from his friends on C Wing in Parkhurst Prison.
On one side of the hearse that would carry Charlie's body were the words "GENTLEMAN" and on the other side "CHARLIE" spelled out with white carnations.
Reg arrived just after 11 o'clock to applause and cheers from the crowds.
66 year old Reg looked remarkably fit for a man that has been behind bars for so long. He looked very smart in his double-breasted suit despite the heavy-duty handcuffs that restricted his movements.
All traffic was halted as the hearse containing Charlie's body moved slowly down Bethnal Green Road towards St Matthews Church, followed by Reg in his prisoner transporter and 15 black cars.
However this short trip of a few hundred yards was not without drama.
The procession was held up for about 10 minutes because of a gas leak which left many of the shops without power for the rest of the day.
Old friends turned up to pay their last respects including former gang associates Tony Lambrianou, Freddie Foreman and Eric Mason as well as old adversaries Frankie Fraser and Charlie Richardson, putting their past quarrels firmly behind them.
In fact Frankie Fraser believes that Reg is a victim of his own notoriety and speaks out for his release at every opportunity.
Dave Courtney was also there keeping a low profile as only he can do, with his white 'Bad Boy1' Rolls Royce and motorbike outriders.
There was standing room only in the church with many hundreds more outside.
The Reverend John Scott held the service, with an address from Father Ken Rimini who Charlie had introduced to boxing when he was a boy.
Needless to say their lives took very different paths but he remembers Charlie as "a caring gentle man."
There were readings by Jamie Foreman and Sue McGibbon and also a recording by Reg called 'I am not there'. It was recorded for his own funeral but dedicated it to Charlie on this sad day.
My daughter Vicky and me shared a black car with Frankie Fraser and his girlfriend Marilyn Wisbey on the long, slow journey to the cemetery.
As the procession passed through Walthamstow on its way to Chingford Mount the crowds began to swell. Police Motorcycles guided the funeral cars through the mid-day traffic as a hovering helicopter kept a watchful eye on the proceeding cavalcade.
Bystanders were shouting out "God bless Charlie" and "Good luck Reg".
One little boy on seeing the cortege said, " It must be somebody to do with the police."
As we approached Chingford Mount the Reverend John Scott walked 'the long walk' from the bottom of the hill to the cemetery where thousands of people had now gathered to get their last look at Charlie, "a true gentleman."
Reg laid flowers at his mother's and first wife's graves before Charlie's body was lowered into its last resting place.
Diane, Reg, Roberta and the rest of the family each threw a single rose into the space that now held Charlie's coffin.
Reg looked very composed and dignified but you could see the sadness in his eyes. This sadness soon turning to joy as old friends clambered to shake his hand before being taken back into 'captivity'.
The limousine that took us on that slow journey to Chingford seemed to transport us instantly back to whence we came.
The streets around W English were now back to relative normality, everyone going about their daily business with no real indication of what had taken place earlier.
After leaving Frank and Marilyn, Vicky and me stopped off at McDonalds for a cup of tea and a burger. The gas leak that had briefly halted the funeral procession was now more evident. The burger bar was running on generators and they were certainly not "cooking on gas".
They eventually managed to rustle up some burgers and while I flicked through the Evening Standard that had already reported on the early part of the funeral, I had time to reflect on the day's events.
And the one thing that struck me was that it had always been said the Krays prospered through fear and intimidation but this was not about fear, this was about respectÖrespect for old values that now seem to be a thing of the past.
I pass on my respects to the Kray family for their sad loss but also hope that now is the time for the authorities to show some compassion and release Reg before he too suffers the fate of his two brothers, Ronnie and Charlie.î

Reggie kray ----------1933 - 2000
On Thursday the 28 th October 2000 Reg was transferred from Wayland prison to Norwich prison hospital for observation and further tests due to a recurring stomach problem. A problem which had persisted over the last few years. His treatment prior to hospitalisation had consisted of off the shelf medicines usually prescribed for upset stomachs.
The media and certain newspapers in particular, were claiming that Reg had cancer and was on deathís doorstep. This, we assume on their behalf, was mere speculation, considering that tests had not yet been carried out.
However their speculation was soon to be confirmed.
A spokesman for the Krays said "Reg has undergone an operation to remove a blockage in his intestine...part of it has been removed and initial investigations indicate that it is not a tumour...He is now recovering in hospital in Norfolk. It is hoped now, considering his health that the Parole Board will look favourably at Reg's case".
Unfortunately the results did conclude that Reg had cancer.

Roberta Kray said "We have received the results of Reg's tests and we are sad to report that cancer has been confirmed. The obstruction removed from the small intestine is a secondary growth and we are awaiting further scans to determine the cause.
Reg's solicitor Trevor Linn will be applying for compassionate parole, on his behalf, to the Home Secretary".
Reg has now served 32 years in prison.
In the light of this and of the severity of his illness, we are hoping he will be granted his long awaited freedom.
"Reg and I would like to thank the many people who have expressed their support and sent their good wishes and also the staff of the Norfolk and Norwich hospital for their excellent care and all their consideration".
On the 26 th August 2000 the Home Secretary Jack Straw bowed to public opinion and released Reg.
However his freedom was short lived.
Reg died on 1 st October 2000.