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Quite possibly the real James Bigglesworth
on 21 September 2013
To those who, like me, have always believed that Capt ('Biggles') Bigglesworth's ability to crash his aeroplane amongst the Front-Line trenches and survive was unbelieveable; here is the story of the man who did just that, and more. I do not think that there can be any doubt that many of Biggles's fictional escapades are based upon the actual life of Arthur Gould Lee.
Biggles may have sustained the fascination with primitive air warfare during the intervening period; but it is this book, No Parachute, that finally reveals that it was all true and helps to unravel some of the unanswered questions, which have been raised in all our minds.
The Author acknowledges that he eventually attained that degree of skill and instinct necessary to survive in aerial combat; but that luck remained the key factor in selecting him as a survivor. The nervous exhaustion, which is only alluded-to in Biggles's story, is soberly acknowledged here; as is the ability of one's Comrades or Commanding Officer to recognise it more clearly than one could oneself. Arthur Gould Lee was a lucky man to emerge with his MC and the rest of his life, to enjoy.