Gangster Ronnie Kray's school leaving certificate that allowed him not to go to class ever again after he turned 15 goes up for auction for £600
18th March 2021
18th March 2021
Ronnie Kray's school leaving certificate which allowed him to leave education aged just 15 is up for auction - and is set to sell for £600.
The document allowed the gangster - who ruled London's east end underworld with twin brother Reggie in the 1960s - to leave school just two months after turning 15, and never return.
The Kray twins attended Daniel Street School in Shoreditch, east London, before the Second World War.
It was then that they, their brother Charlie and mother Violet were evacuated to the Suffolk countryside - but they returned to London one year later.
Ronnie - who was considered the more dangerous of the pair - left school on December 17, 1948 and started working in the building trade.
His London County Council School Leaving Certificate, a sought-after item among collectors of Kray memorabilia, is being sold by auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, Wiltshire, for an estimated £600.
t says it 'certifies that Ronald Kray of 178 Vallance Road E2 is exempt from the obligation to attend school within the administrative county of London'.
Two years after leaving school, the Kray brothers were called up for their national service in the British Army.
But the pair went AWOL after assaulting a corporal - leading them both to serve a jail term.
After getting out, the twins bought a snooker hall in Mile End, east London and started a protection racket that grew into a criminal empire from there.
The pair were both jailed for life in 1969 for a series of violent offences, including murder and armed robbery.
Ronnie's school leaving certificate was given by his older brother Charlie to friends George and Sue Duyer in the 1970s.
The couple later gave it to a neighbour who is selling it at auction now.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: 'I suppose in a way this document is a catalyst. It documents the time Ronnie Kray went from going to school to going to a life of crime and becoming one of the 20th century's most infamous gangsters.
'It is a conversation piece. It is not worth thousands of pounds, probably about £500 to £600, which makes it attractive to a lot of people who like to glamourise that period of history.
'There is quite a lot of Kray memorabilia out there because both brothers lived to advanced years, although most of that time was spent in prison.
'This is something quite unique, there isn't another one like it.'
The school certificate is being sold on Saturday.
The Kray brothers ruled the London gangland scene in the late 50s and 'Swinging Sixties' with their notorious East End gang 'The Firm'.
Of the two siblings, Ronnie was considered the more dangerous. He was imprisoned in 1957 for GBH.
While locked up, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, which partly explained his violent tendencies.
Despite Reggie also being jailed in 1959, the Krays' 'business' activities went from strength to strength, and by the Sixties they were hobnobbing with stars such as Barbara Windsor, and eminent politicians such as Lord Boothby, with whom Ronnie is alleged to have had an affair.
After opening a club in Mile End, they began demanding money from criminals and by the early 1960s they were making up to the equivalent of £10million every year.
Reggie was given a life sentence in 1969 for the murder of Jack 'The Hat' McVitie, who he repeatedly stabbed in the face and neck for not following orders.
Ronnie was also convicted of the murder of George Cornell, whom he shot between the eyes in the Blind Beggar pub in the East End of London after being called a 'fat poof'.
Ronnie died of a heart attack in Broadmoor, the hospital for the criminally insane, on March 17 1995, aged 61.
Reggie, who was released from prison on compassionate parole with just weeks to live, died from bladder cancer in October 2000.