A Conversation for 'Biggles' - by Captain WE Johns

Great topic, just one error:

Post 1



Grand article.

Just a correction: Biggles didn't "begin" as such in the First World War.

WEJ wrote a couple of volumes about the boyhood of Biggles, growing up as he did in British India and becoming blood-brother to an Indian lad of his own age(who I kind of recall appears in a post-1947 story as Biggles' contact in India who helps solve a case). These are chronologically 1908 - 1914 and redolent of Kipling and the Jungle Book.

Interestingly, like Spike Milligan (now Biggles and Milligan - THERE would be a pairing!)Biggles complains of the cold and damp when he comes to England for the first time in his life to do the patriotic thing and enlist - aggrvatinly I can't remember the regiment, but for a short while he is a lowly second lieutenant in an Infantry regt before he decides what he REALLY wants to do is to fly. ("Biggles Learns to Fly")

There is a fictional "biography" in circulation, based on the books, that has a dissillusioned seventy-plus year old Bigglesworth, sometime around 1975, with everything he has lived and fought for (the Empire, Tory England) in ruins,his friends fading into death, and no return to the India of his boyhood, who it is hinted has a life-destroying cancer owing to his lifelong smoking habit, hi-jacking a Spitfire at an air festival, joy-riding it till it runs out of petrol, and then crashing to his death the way he wanted it to be.

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