The Kray Twins

Kray Twins large
Reginald and Ronald Kray
Born: 24 October 1933
Death: 17 March 1995 (Ronnie) 1 October 2000 (Reggie)

The Kray twins received letters calling them to begin their national service at the Tower of London with the Royal Fusiliers in March 1952.

Upon arrival, they were given a lecture on smart turnout with other recruits by the Corporal. Unsurprisingly, the twins did not take kindly to being told what to do! The Krays started to walk away, but when the Corporal tried to stop them Ronnie hit him.

They then left the Tower to have tea at home before being arrested the next morning. The next two years of their national service were characterised by successive incidents which resulted in the Krays being incarcerated in military jails and prisons, before being dishonourably discharged.

It is apparent that, rather than shaping them into better citizens, the twins' time with the Regiment had only developed their ability to get their own way. As Reggie was often heard to have said, 'God Bless the Royal Fusiliers'.

In 2012, The Late Lieutenant Colonel George Pettifar spoke of his interaction with the Twins, as part of the Museum's Oral History Project. Below is a snippet of his conversation with work experience student Daniel for your enjoyment!


Research undertaken by Research Volunteer David Ingle.

Famous Fusiliers

Famous Fusiliers

From a Pirate Radio 'Prince' to notorious East End Gangsters.