Biggles Takes It Rough by W. E. Johns was first published in February 1963 by Brockhampton Press. Since then there have been at least 4 subsequent editions. The events in the book take place in Tola, a small island in the Western Isles of Scotland.


Roderick Macaster is the owner of the small Scottish island of Tola. Having inherited the family wealth, Macaster plans to develop the uninhabited island, continuing the project of his grandfather who first bought the island. But on his first visit to the island, Roderick discovers the island isn't unihnabited and at night he hears an aircraft land and then take off again without navigation lights. Roderick reports this to Scotland Yard and the mention of an unidentified aircraft puts the case into Biggles' beat.


Note: The sections below contain spoilers. In particular, the plot subpage (click here) contains an extended summary of the narrative in the book


The Special Air Police/Scotland YardEdit

  • Air Commodore Raymond
  • Biggles
  • Algy
  • Ginger
  • Bertie Lissie
  • Gaskin



  • Kestrel - newly acquired Air Police helicopter
  • Unspecified Royal Navy helicopter, most likely a Westland Whirlwind
  • Unspecified light aircraft belonging to Norton's gang



  • Tola - Roderick Macaster's private island in the Outer Hebrides


Other Research NotesEdit

  • Chronology.



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