The funeral of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs will take place in Golders Green Crematorium today.

Biggs, who rose to fame after escaping prison after being jailed for his part in the robbery, died at Carlton Court Care Home, in Bells Hill, East Barnet, in December.

Mourners have been asked not to wear black clothes and instead make the day a “celebration of his life”.

One of his last wishes was for his ashes to be scattered half in England, where he was born, and half in Rio.

The 84-year-old was part of a 15-strong gang that stole £2.6m from the Glasgow to London mail train on August 8, 1963.

Train driver Jack Mills suffered serious head injuries during the robbery, though Biggs always denied any part in inflicting them.  After he was sent to Wandsworth prison, he escaped and fled to France and Australia before settling in Brazil.

He fell ill with pneumonia in July that year while serving a 30-year sentence for his part in the 1963 mail train robbery.

But he was released from jail on compassionate grounds after a series of strokes last year.

Just one week before Biggs was granted permission to move to the care home in East Barnet, the Times Series reported him saying he wanted to carry on living “to spite those who want me dead”.

He said: “I’ve got a bit of living to do yet.”

Biggs could not speak after the strokes, but used an alphabet board to communicate.

His son Michael, 34, granddaughter Ingrid, nine, and legal advisor Giovanni Di Stefano were with him when he entered the home.