A/N:these poems were written a couple of years ago and posted on another forum. The series, written by Captain W. E. Johns, was a childhood favourite. I own none of the characters or tales, and write for fun, not profit.

First chapter...Captain James Bigglesworth...

Here is a Leader

No classic, conventional, storybook hero;

A slight, unassuming and highly strung youth;.

Who moved from the schoolroom to aerial combat

A year under age, "reinventing" the truth.

All boyhood illusions of honour and glory

Soon shattered by battle in bullet-traced skies.

A witness to horrors beyond comprehension;

A world weary pilot with unquiet eyes.


Not flawless, not faultless, but fallibly human;

At times prone to recklessness, heart ruling head;

Acutely aware of the days every airman

Clung on to this world by the slenderest thread.

And yet…an instinctive, innate moral compass

Held steady despite all the chaos of war;

The trust that through loss and regret and betrayal

Some values would always be worth fighting for.


A keen sense of justice, a sure set of standards;

The wit to consider his foe's point of view;

Not slow to admit to omissions and errors

Or bending his rule book to see a task through.

No friend is abandoned, no mission rejected,

No offbeat solution is left unexplored;

Impatient to be in the thick of the action,

Where wrongs can be righted, and balance restored.


He never quite reaches the end of endurance;

Persisting, it seems, by his sheer strength of will.

If the cause or the case or the need is sufficient

He'll somehow hang on beyond reason until

The deed is completed, the evil plot thwarted,

The villains defeated, friends out of harm's way.

A stalwart and loyal and tireless companion

Who sets the whole tone: deadpan humour, fair play.


So, here is a leader who others will follow,

Undaunted by prospects of danger and death;

Inspired by the depths of regard and devotion

Which quietly endure to the very last breath.