Tolkien Gateway

Battle of the Somme

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The '''Battle of the Somme''' was a battle in which [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] fought in shortly after receiving his first class degree in literature at [[Oxford]]. From July to October of 1916 Tolkien was on active duty until he acquired trench fever and was let go. Many of Tolkien's dearest friends perished during this time and it became a major event in Tolkien's life which reflects in his writings.
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The '''Battle of the Somme''' was one of the bloodiest battles of [[World War I]], and indeed of all of human history.<ref name="Brewer">Paul Brewer (2007). ''The Chronicle of War: A Year-by-Year Account of Conflict from 1854 to the Present Day''. London: Carlton Books.</ref> [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] served there from [[July]] to [[October]] [[1916]], as Battalion Signalling Officer in the British Army. His unit, the 11th Batallion of The Lancashire Fusiliers, fought in the northern sector of the Somme, in the trenches around [[wikipedia:Thiepval|Thiepval]].<ref name="WarMuseum">Imperial War Museum. [http://www.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.2211 Personal Stories - JRR Tolkien]. Retrieved 2010-08-22.</ref> In October Tolkien contracted [[wikipedia:Trench fever|trench fever]] and was evacuated to England to convalesce; he did not return to the front lines.
  
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Among the hundreds of thousands of young men killed at the Somme were two of Tolkien's close school friends: [[Robert Gilson]] and [[Geoffrey Bache Smith]]. Tolkien discussed the death of Gilson in a [[Letter 6|letter]] written in the trenches to Smith shortly before he too was killed by shrapnel. The "hideous" experience of the Battle, as Tolkien described it, is often seen to be reflected in his written work.<ref name="BBC">Lisa Jardine. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5133000.stm 'The Somme and Tolkien']. ''BBC News | Magazine''. Updated 2006-07-03. Retrieved 2010-08-22.</ref>
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==See also==
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* ''[[A Spring Harvest]]''
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* ''[[Tolkien and the Great War]]''
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{{references}}
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5133000.stm The Somme and Tolkien]
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* {{WP|{{PAGENAME}}}}
* [http://www.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.2211 Imperial War Museum]
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[[Category:World War I]]
 
[[Category:World War I]]
 
[[de:J.R.R. Tolkien#Krieg]]
 
[[de:J.R.R. Tolkien#Krieg]]

Revision as of 18:14, 22 August 2010

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of World War I, and indeed of all of human history.[1] J.R.R. Tolkien served there from July to October 1916, as Battalion Signalling Officer in the British Army. His unit, the 11th Batallion of The Lancashire Fusiliers, fought in the northern sector of the Somme, in the trenches around Thiepval.[2] In October Tolkien contracted trench fever and was evacuated to England to convalesce; he did not return to the front lines.

Among the hundreds of thousands of young men killed at the Somme were two of Tolkien's close school friends: Robert Gilson and Geoffrey Bache Smith. Tolkien discussed the death of Gilson in a letter written in the trenches to Smith shortly before he too was killed by shrapnel. The "hideous" experience of the Battle, as Tolkien described it, is often seen to be reflected in his written work.[3]

See also

References

  1. Paul Brewer (2007). The Chronicle of War: A Year-by-Year Account of Conflict from 1854 to the Present Day. London: Carlton Books.
  2. Imperial War Museum. Personal Stories - JRR Tolkien. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  3. Lisa Jardine. 'The Somme and Tolkien'. BBC News | Magazine. Updated 2006-07-03. Retrieved 2010-08-22.

External links