Sopwith Camel - copyright Darren Harbar
Sopwith Camel - copyright Darren Harbar


Biggles is an enduring hero for generations of school children. Yet few will have stopped to wonder his antecedence and from where Captain James Bigglesworth of the Royal Flying Corps sprang. Perhaps even wondering about the author Captain W E Johns.

Paul Beaver is a lifelong fan of Biggles the audacious airman, war hero and all-round good chap. He will attempt to unravel fact from fiction and delve deep into the origins of Biggles. We will examine the characters and the relevance to the storylines of the period in which the books were written.

Amongst the areas for discussion will be the connection between Biggleswade, Shuttleworth, Biggles and Johns. If you have a Biggles book from childhood, do bring it along: Biggles of the Camel Squadron perhaps? Or the later, post-Second World War Biggles of the Special Air Police?

Join Paul at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire on 4 August for a full day devoted to Biggles, Captain W E Johns and the Sopwith Camel.

Exclusive viewing of the Sopwith Camel Plane & A talk from a pilot

Hear about:

  • Biggles as a literary phenomenon
  • Captain John’s role in pilot recruiting
  • The Sopwith Camel
  • A pilot’s point of view

Take part in the:

  • Discussions and shared memories
  • Hangar Tour
  • Lunch and refreshments

Tour highlights:

  • Exclusive viewing of the Sopwith Camel

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