A tidal wave of commentary on the First World War is about to break as we approach the th anniversary of its outbreak. Growing up in the s, it was accounts of the Second World War that dominated my reading. I began to pay real attention to what had happened between and only when I started reading about aerial warfare in the numerous books about Biggles by Captain W E Johns, which at that time were voraciously consumed by most teenagers and now are almost unobtainable in bookshops. It was not a bad way to learn about the war. Johns, a pilot in the RFC which in April became the RAF , gives vivid accounts of what it was like to fly the fragile planes of the time, which were all too likely to fall apart or crash long before they fired a shot. In describing aerial combat, his stories are still intensely readable and, at his best, he writes about pilots and their planes with a clarity and realism that have seldom been equalled.
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Johns : best known for creating the fictional air-adventurer Biggles. A younger brother, Russell Ernest Johns, was born on 24 October Johns' early ambition was to be a soldier, and he was a crack shot with a rifle. From January , he attended Hertford Grammar School. Johns was not a natural scholar. He included some of his experiences at this school in his book Biggles Goes to School
The RAF officially adopted the familiar blue gray color on September 15, but the use of the khaki army pattern continued to be used until This coat was worn by Lt. Wes D. He served during World War I until his S. A bullet almost reached his heart, but was stopped by his. Archer is perhaps more famous for pulling off one of the biggest photographic hoaxes ever produced.
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