Frances <I>Shea</I> Kray

Frances Shea Kray

Bethnal Green, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England
Death 7 Jun 1967 (aged 23–24)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Chingford, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England
Plot Section B8 ; Grave No. 70685
Memorial ID 6792213 · View Source
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The inscription reads : 'In loving memory of my dear wife, Frances Kray, who passed away 7th. June 1967, aged 23 years. If I could write the beauty of your eyes, And in such numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say ; "This poet lies ; Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces."' Frances Shea was born in Ormsby Street, Bethnal Green, East London, of Irish descent. Her father, Frank, had run the gambling at the Regency Club in Stoke Newington, which is how she came to the attention of the Kray twins, Reggie and Ronnie (qq.v.). Reggie proposed to her in 1961, at Steeple Bay in Essex, when she was eighteen and he was twenty-seven. She refused, considering herself to be too young for marriage. The next year, he took her to Barcelona and to Milan and, in February 1965, he proposed to her again ; this time, she accepted. The first priest they asked to officiate refused to do so, but a second one accepted, and they were married on the 20th. April, at St. James's Church in Bethnal Green. Their honeymoon was spent in Athens, not in Dover, as is shown in the film, wherein Frances is played by Kate Hardie. Two months after the marriage, the bride left her husband and returned to live with her parents. One month after that, she attempted suicide by taking an overdose of barbituates. On this occasion and on one subsequent, she was revived ; however, on the 7th. June 1967, she succeeded in killing herself. Her parents told Reg Kray that their daughter's last wish had been to revert to her maiden name, but he insisted that she be buried under her married name and wear her white satin wedding dress. However, Mrs. Shea persuaded the undertaker to clothe the corpse in tights and a slip, so that as little of her body as possible would be in contact with the hated dress. It is worth mentioning that, before his arrest, Reg visited her grave, sometimes several times a day ; and that, six months before his own death, when he was let out of prison to attend the funeral of his brother Charlie, he was photographed kissing her tombstone.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine

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  • Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 20 Sep 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6792213
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  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frances Shea Kray (1943–7 Jun 1967), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6792213, citing Chingford Mount Cemetery, Chingford, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Iain MacFarlaine (contributor 46514200) .