He joined the RFC in at the age of 17, having conveniently "lost" his birth certificate. Biggles represents a particularly "British" hero, combining professionalism with a gentlemanly air. Under the stress of combat he develops from a slightly hysterical youth prone to practical jokes to a calm, confident, competent leader. Added to the team in is the teenager Ginger Hebblethwaite.
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Johns 74 followers Invariably known as Captain W. He had a younger brother, Russell Ernest Johns, who was born on 24 October He went to Hertford Grammar School where he was no great scholar but he did develop into a crack Invariably known as Captain W. He went to Hertford Grammar School where he was no great scholar but he did develop into a crack shot with a rifle. This fired his early ambition to be a soldier. He also attended evening classes at the local art school. In the summer of he was apprenticed to a county municipal surveyor where he remained for four years and then in he became a sanitary inspector in Swaffham, Norfolk.
Soon after taking up this appointment, his father died of tuberculosis at the age of In August his regiment was mobilised and was in training and on home defence duties until September when they received embarkation orders for duty overseas. He fought at Gallipoli and in the Suez Canal area and, after moving to the Machine gun Corps, he took part in the spring offensive in Salonika in April He contracted malaria and whilst in hospital he put in for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps and on 26 September , he was given a temporary commission as a Second Lieutenant and posted back to England to learn to fly, which he did at No.
He was posted to No. He moved to Yorkshire and was then posted to France and while on a bombing raid to Mannheim his plane was shot down and he was wounded. Captured by the Germans, he later escaped before being reincarcerated where he remained until the war ended.
Biggles Air Ace