According to Alsford, M. (2006) both heroes and villains come from situations of having experienced parental loss at an early age, which instils fear. In the hero the fear of loss results in a drive for social acceptance from benevolent achievement(s), whereas in the villain this fear leads to an absence of compassion and conscience, which results in the manipulation and control of others.
This kind of theory may well be plausible in explaining the origins of Ronnie Biggs’ criminal life, yet it is less satisfactory when transferred to Harry Patch. Although Harry Patch is undoubtedly a hero, his heroic achievements during World War 1 and 11 are as much about situational factors and current social values as they are about internal drive and the self. Psychological theories therefore, would prove more plausible if they incorporated broader social influences rather than limiting their scope to the individual and their immediate environment.
Harry Patch: last survivor of the trenches is laid to rest
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs released from jail to die
Sports Heroes and Celebrities