Algy in WW1

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Algy in WW1

Postby Inactive User 171 » 26 Apr 2014, 13:09

I have not read all the WWI books and I was wondering how many of them had Algy in a starring role? I know there are a couple of books before Algy joins and the first book he is in goes on until the end of the War and then other short story books were published afterwards with Algy in them but once he had been introduced was he always with Biggles more than the others and did he take over from the other two flight commanders as Biggles' main companion?
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby tiffinata » 26 Apr 2014, 13:14

off the top of my head he's pretty much Biggles companion from the time he goes back into the dogfight with jammed guns.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Kismet » 26 Apr 2014, 13:18

I'd say it varied. Sometimes Algy seemed more important to Biggles than others

Biggles' main rivalry was with Wilks, so Algy would get roped into plans to help Biggles confound Wilks.

As a member of Biggles's flight, Algy got to wait for Biggles on a chock outside the sheds and to run into the Mess ahead of Biggles to warn the others something had happened to upset Biggles, but Mahoney and MacLaren still had big roles.

I'd say Algy was very important in the air as he very quickly became someone Biggles could utterly rely on, but on the ground his main companion was always Wilks.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Inactive User 171 » 26 Apr 2014, 13:23

Well I must admit I did not realise that. Wilks does pop up in a few later books of course but I did not know he was so close to Biggles in the WWI books. Of course after the War Biggles and Algy were partners. In Flies North Algy and Wilks spend a lot of time together while Biggles and Ginger are together in the other plane but they certainly did not hesitate to go all the way to Canada to help Wilks.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby kylie_koyote » 26 Apr 2014, 14:49

Algy is in "rescue flight" and this is, I think, the only other time he's referenced as a relative of Biggles and not just a friend.

Although in "sgt Bigglesworth" when Biggles thinks Ginger has been killed and the baddie asks "was he a relation" it occurred to me that he was asking if it was Algy in the plane.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Inactive User 171 » 26 Apr 2014, 14:59

Could be or it might be he would expect Biggles to be more upset if it was a relative. Of course as far as Biggles is concerned Ginger is as close as a relative.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Lycaea » 26 Apr 2014, 21:48

As far as I remember, Algy doesn't have a prominent role in a lot of the WWI short stories, even if he’s probably in most of them after The Camels are Coming (no, I haven’t counted lately.)… I think it took Johns a while to decide to ”keep him”.

Food for thought – what if Johns had decided to use Wilks or Mahoney as Biggles’ flying partner after the war… :shock:
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby tiffinata » 26 Apr 2014, 23:07

Then Soppy and AA would be very unhappy people!
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby CaptWilks » 26 Apr 2014, 23:54

Lycaea wrote:As far as I remember, Algy doesn't have a prominent role in a lot of the WWI short stories, even if he’s probably in most of them after The Camels are Coming (no, I haven’t counted lately.)

You have to remember that the stories -- the short stories, in particular -- were written (in my view) as "one off" incidents, with WEJ having no idea that he would end up penning a hundred Biggles books. *** At this point it would be helpful to find Dr Biggles chronology: found it; see links later.

Once Algy arrives, during the middle to latter part of WW1, my impression is that he is there all the time but, as you say, does not necessarily have a prominent part in every mission that Biggles undertakes. Biggles' fellow flight commanders, and, of course, the squadron leader, play important roles, as do other characters, especially The Professor.

Algy demonstrates his value in his first entry and, after a short time, becomes Biggles' right hand man; he is the one Biggles can rely on. It is natural, after WW1, that they stick together, so we get Condor and Flies Again. In both, Biggles is, of course, the "main man" but Algy is indispensable.

The links:
http://www.bigglesforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=863&p=19672
http://www.biggles.info/Order/

VZ: Could Dr Biggles' "order" be put somewhere prominent? The issue comes up so often that it would be nice to be able to find it easily.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Tommy Smith » 27 Apr 2014, 07:37

Spreadsheet! Order of character arrival, rough birth year, rank when mentioned, notes on anomalies?
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Inactive User 171 » 27 Apr 2014, 08:22

Sounds good but would be very time consuming. Of course some of the Algy fans probably know the exact amount of times Algy was in the WWI books and exactly what part he played 8-) ;)
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby CaptWilks » 27 Apr 2014, 08:35

Tommy Smith wrote:Spreadsheet! Order of character arrival, rough birth year, rank when mentioned, notes on anomalies?

A project for a rainy day. Unfortunately, alas, the anomalies would make doing this for WW1 fairly speculative. But Dr Biggles has these details as he took notes on these things when doing his chronology.
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby Inactive User 171 » 27 Apr 2014, 08:46

It would be very interesting to know but of course some of the short stories were re-written and published again with slight variations which does not help. Did WEJ ever say what Wilks, Mahoney, The Professor etc. were thinking or are all the stories told mainly from Biggles' point of view?

Whoever WEJ had chosen for Condor and Flies Again I think he would still have introduced a younger character for the rest of the books. What sort of young character would have been preferable to Ginger?
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Re: Algy in WW1

Postby CaptWilks » 27 Apr 2014, 09:13

Jenny wrote:It would be very interesting to know but of course some of the short stories were re-written and published again with slight variations which does not help. Did WEJ ever say what Wilks, Mahoney, The Professor etc. were thinking or are all the stories told mainly from Biggles' point of view?

Rescue Flight was, I think, from the point of view of the young chap: Forty? But all the rest that I have read (and I haven't read all the WW1) were from Biggles' point of view, although other characters may report what they were thinking during a later conversation. There's an amusing example in one of the Professor stories where he recounts the one flaw in his plan to blow up a bridge by flying under it...the gap is too narrow, something he didn't think about until approaching at high speed with a large bomb on his camel. :lol:
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