Lance[N 3] 'Moggy' Cattermole is a character from the Derek Robinson novel Piece of Cake.

Moggy was killed when his aircraft was destroyed during the air raid featured at the end of Piece of Cake.[N 4]

The NovelEdit

He first appears as one of four members of Hornet Squadron returning to their airfield in a Buick convertible after celebrating 'Pip' Patterson's 21st birthday. Cattermole is carrying a golliwog half as big as himself.

Cattermole quickly proves to be one of the squadron's best pilots. After hearing about a French pilot flying under a nearby bridge, he becomes obsessed with the idea, and pulls the stunt off with aplomb. He is also a bully, picking first on Dicky Starr, and later on Sticky Stickwell. He cajoles Starr into repeating the bridge stunt; Starr succeeds, but by then the water had risen and Starr's Hurricane crashes into the river. He bullies Stickwell incessantly, to the point that Stickwell suffers a nervous breakdown and leaves the squadron.

Cattermole later pays a visit to Mary Blandin while her fiance, Fitzgerald, is home on leave. He seduces her, and possibly impregnates her.

During the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, Cattermole becomes the squadron's top ace. His skill and charisma make him popular, even though Pip Patterson calls him "the squadron shit".

He starts bullying a new pilot, Steele-Stebbing. This ends when Steele-Stebbing connects the portable toilet, in which Cattermole was moving his bowels and reading the newspaper, to a tractor and drags it around the airfield. Afterwards the two share a grudging respect. In the climactic dogfight in September 1940 Steele-Stebbing is maimed by a cannonshell, and Cattermole flies alongside him to try to keep him from passing out, and to guide him safely to land. Despite Cattermole's efforts, Steele-Stebbing passes out from loss of blood and collides with the cliffs.

Minutes later, Cattermole's Hurricane is shot up by a Spitfire whose pilot mistook him for a Bf-109. Crippled and helpless, he is then set upon by a formation of Messerschmitts and killed.

The MiniseriesEdit

First seen sitting on the back of a horse drawn cart during the cross country run.

Squadron PositionEdit

  • September 1939 - :Red Two[6]
  • October 1938 - Red Three[7]
  • September 1940 (His death) - Yellow Leader[8]



  1. Scottish on Mother’s side (Moggy reveals this to Squadron Leader Ramsey on returning from leave in August 1939).[1]
  2. Mentions that he is not yet 21 at the start of the novel.[2]
  3. Moggy revealed his name to Mary during a visit to her cottage.[3]
  4. In the novel, Moggy is killed by a passing Bf-109 at high altitude, shortly after his Hurricane is mistaken for a Bf 109 by a Spitfire pilot, who attacks Moggy while in pursuit of a He 111.[4] In the miniseries his Spitfire is destroyed by a 'Bf-109' which chased Moggy past the airfield at low level.[5]


  1. Robinson, Derek. Page 24.
  2. Robinson, Derek. Page 19.
  3. Robinson, Derek. Page .
  4. Robinson, Derek. Page 666.
  5. Piece of Cake Episode 6
  6. Robinson, Derek. Page 50.
  7. Robinson, Derek. Page 133.
  8. Robinson, Derek. Page 660.