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World War I

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[[Image:Tolkien 1916.jpg|right|thumb|Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform. From Humphrey Carpenter's ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography|Biography]]''.]]
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[[File:Tolkien 1916.jpg|right|thumb|Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform.]]
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<center>{{quote|Who battled have with bloody hands<br>Through evil times in barren lands,<br>To whom the voice of guns<br>Speaks and no longer stuns...|[[Geoffrey Bache Smith]], ''[[A Spring Harvest]]''}}</center>
 
<center>{{quote|Who battled have with bloody hands<br>Through evil times in barren lands,<br>To whom the voice of guns<br>Speaks and no longer stuns...|[[Geoffrey Bache Smith]], ''[[A Spring Harvest]]''}}</center>
  
[[J.R.R. Tolkien]] served in the British Army during '''World War I''' (or the "'''Great War'''"), most notably in the bloody [[Battle of the Somme]]. The earliest works of the [[Legendarium]]&mdash;collected in ''[[The Book of Lost Tales Part 1|The Book of Lost Tales]]''&mdash;were began during the conflict. The extent to which the war and Tolkien's experience of it are reflected in his written work is a matter of much interest in Tolkien scholarship.
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[[J.R.R. Tolkien]] served in the British Army during '''World War I''' (or the "'''Great War'''"), most notably in the bloody [[Battle of the Somme]]. The earliest works of the [[Legendarium]]&mdash;collected in ''[[The Book of Lost Tales Part One]]''&mdash;were began during the conflict. The extent to which the war and Tolkien's experience of it are reflected in his written work is a matter of much interest in Tolkien scholarship.
  
 
==Participants==
 
==Participants==
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:'''See also ''[[wikipedia:Timeline_of_World_War_I|Timeline of World War I]]'' at Wikipedia'''
 
:'''See also ''[[wikipedia:Timeline_of_World_War_I|Timeline of World War I]]'' at Wikipedia'''
 
===1914===
 
===1914===
* '''[[June 28]]''' - [[wikipedia:Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria|The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria]] in Sarajevo.<ref name="WP">[[wikipedia:World War I|World War I]] at [[wikipedia:Main Page|Wikipedia]]</ref>
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* '''[[28 June|June 28]]''' - [[wikipedia:Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria|The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria]] in Sarajevo.<ref name="WP">[[wikipedia:World War I|World War I]] at [[wikipedia:Main Page|Wikipedia]]</ref>
* '''[[July 28]]''' - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia mobilizes. The Great War begins.<ref name="WP"/>
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* '''[[28 July|July 28]]''' - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia mobilizes. The Great War begins.<ref name="WP"/>
 
* '''[[4 August|August 4]]''' - The British Empire declares war on Germany, following tension and conflict on the mainland in July.<ref name="WP"/>
 
* '''[[4 August|August 4]]''' - The British Empire declares war on Germany, following tension and conflict on the mainland in July.<ref name="WP"/>
 
* '''[[August]]''' - [[Hilary Tolkien]] joins the army as a bugler. [[Geoffrey Bache Smith]] and [[Robert Gilson]] join the army. [[Christopher Wiseman]] joins the navy instead. [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] plans to finish his education.<ref name="Garth">[[John Garth]], ''[[Tolkien and the Great War]]''</ref>
 
* '''[[August]]''' - [[Hilary Tolkien]] joins the army as a bugler. [[Geoffrey Bache Smith]] and [[Robert Gilson]] join the army. [[Christopher Wiseman]] joins the navy instead. [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] plans to finish his education.<ref name="Garth">[[John Garth]], ''[[Tolkien and the Great War]]''</ref>
 
===1915===
 
===1915===
 
* '''[[10 June|June 10]]''' - Exams start at Oxford University. Because of the war, only Tolkien and 24 others remain in the entire University. Tolkien passes.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[10 June|June 10]]''' - Exams start at Oxford University. Because of the war, only Tolkien and 24 others remain in the entire University. Tolkien passes.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[June 28]]''' - Tolkien applies at the Oxford recruiting office to join the army.<ref name="Garth"/>
+
* '''[[28 June|June 28]]''' - Tolkien applies at the Oxford recruiting office to join the army.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[15 July|July 15]]''' - Tolkien becomes a second lieutenant, and is appointed to the 13th Service Battalion of the Lancashire Fusilliers.<ref name="Garth"/>  
 
* '''[[15 July|July 15]]''' - Tolkien becomes a second lieutenant, and is appointed to the 13th Service Battalion of the Lancashire Fusilliers.<ref name="Garth"/>  
* '''[[September 25]]''' - The Big Four of the [[T.C.B.S.]] - Tolkien, Smith, Wiseman and Gilson - have their last meeting.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[25 September|September 25]]''' - The Big Four of the [[T.C.B.S.]] - Tolkien, Smith, Wiseman and Gilson - have their last meeting.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[21 November|November 21]]''' - G.B. Smith is shipped to France.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[21 November|November 21]]''' - G.B. Smith is shipped to France.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
===1916===
 
===1916===
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* '''[[8 January|January 8]]''' - Robert Gilson is promoted to Lieutenant and shipped to France.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[8 January|January 8]]''' - Robert Gilson is promoted to Lieutenant and shipped to France.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[16 March|March 16]]''' - Tolkien receives his degree at the [[University of Oxford]].<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[16 March|March 16]]''' - Tolkien receives his degree at the [[University of Oxford]].<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[March 22]]''' - Tolkien marries [[Edith Tolkien|Edith Bratt]].<ref name="Garth"/><ref name="Carpenter">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]''</ref>
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* '''[[22 March|March 22]]''' - Tolkien marries [[Edith Tolkien|Edith Bratt]].<ref name="Garth"/><ref name="Carpenter">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]''</ref>
* '''[[May 31]] - [[1 June|June 1]]''' - Christopher Wiseman fights in the [[wikipedia:Battle of Jutland|Battle of Jutland]].<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[31 May|May 31]] - [[1 June|June 1]]''' - Christopher Wiseman fights in the [[wikipedia:Battle of Jutland|Battle of Jutland]].<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[2 June|June 2]]''' - Tolkien receives orders to report in Folkestone, and prepare for embarking.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[2 June|June 2]]''' - Tolkien receives orders to report in Folkestone, and prepare for embarking.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[4 June|June 4]]''' - Tolkien is shipped to Étaples, France.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[4 June|June 4]]''' - Tolkien is shipped to Étaples, France.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[June 27]]''' - Tolkien leaves Étaples, and goes to the Somme front.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[27 June|June 27]]''' - Tolkien leaves Étaples, and goes to the Somme front.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[1 July|July 1]]''' - One of the bloodiest battles in recent history, the [[Battle of the Somme]], starts. Robert Gilson is one of the first of the 360,000 British casualties when he is hit by a shell at La Boiselle.<ref name="Garth"/>  
 
* '''[[1 July|July 1]]''' - One of the bloodiest battles in recent history, the [[Battle of the Somme]], starts. Robert Gilson is one of the first of the 360,000 British casualties when he is hit by a shell at La Boiselle.<ref name="Garth"/>  
 
* '''[[14 July|July 14]]''' - Tolkien's C-company is sent into action at the Somme front. This is Tolkien's first 5-day front-line duty.<ref name="Gilbert">Martin Gilbert, ''[http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=716&pageid=23&pagename=Arts What Tolkien Taught Me about the Battle of the Somme]''</ref>
 
* '''[[14 July|July 14]]''' - Tolkien's C-company is sent into action at the Somme front. This is Tolkien's first 5-day front-line duty.<ref name="Gilbert">Martin Gilbert, ''[http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=716&pageid=23&pagename=Arts What Tolkien Taught Me about the Battle of the Somme]''</ref>
* '''[[July 22]]''' - [[Ralph Payton|Ralph "the Baby" Payton]], one of the T.C.B.S., is killed in the Battle of the Somme. His body is never identified.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[22 July|July 22]]''' - [[Ralph Payton|Ralph "the Baby" Payton]], one of the T.C.B.S., is killed in the Battle of the Somme. His body is never identified.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[July 24]]''' - Tolkien's second five day front-line duty begins.<ref name="Gilbert"/>
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* '''[[24 July|July 24]]''' - Tolkien's second five day front-line duty begins.<ref name="Gilbert"/>
 
* '''[[19 August|August 19]]''' - Tolkien and G.B. Smith meet at Acheux.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[19 August|August 19]]''' - Tolkien and G.B. Smith meet at Acheux.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[October 26]]''' - While in reserve, Tolkien's battalion is inspected by [[wikipedia:Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig|Sir Doulgas Haig]], the British commander at the Battle of the Somme.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[26 October|October 26]]''' - While in reserve, Tolkien's battalion is inspected by [[wikipedia:Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig|Sir Doulgas Haig]], the British commander at the Battle of the Somme.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[October 27]]''' – J.R.R. Tolkien is struck by trench fever, which ends his contribution to the war after just 5 months.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[27 October|October 27]]''' – J.R.R. Tolkien is struck by trench fever, which ends his contribution to the war after just 5 months.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[October 28]]''' – Tolkien is hospitalized.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[28 October|October 28]]''' – Tolkien is hospitalized.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[8 November|November 8]]''' - Tolkien is repatriated. He now stays at a hospital in [[Birmingham]].<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[8 November|November 8]]''' - Tolkien is repatriated. He now stays at a hospital in [[Birmingham]].<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[18 November|November 18]]''' - The Battle of the Somme ends. Neither side wins. Tolkien is officially stricken off as a casualty by his Batallion.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[18 November|November 18]]''' - The Battle of the Somme ends. Neither side wins. Tolkien is officially stricken off as a casualty by his Batallion.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[November 29]]''' - G.B. Smith is hit by shrapnel, and wounded on his right arm and thigh.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[29 November|November 29]]''' - G.B. Smith is hit by shrapnel, and wounded on his right arm and thigh.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[3 December|December 3]]''' - G.B. Smith dies of gas-gangrene in his wounds. The news does not reach Tolkien until the 16th.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[3 December|December 3]]''' - G.B. Smith dies of gas-gangrene in his wounds. The news does not reach Tolkien until the 16th.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[December 16]] - [[December 25|25]]''' - Tolkien recovers, and he and Edith visit [[Great Haywood]].<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[16 December|December 16]] - [[25 December|25]]''' - Tolkien recovers, and he and Edith visit [[Great Haywood]].<ref name="Garth"/>
  
 
===1917===
 
===1917===
 
* '''[[12 January|January 12]]''' - Tolkien's leave of absence (to recover from his trench fever) ends, but he is far from recovered.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[12 January|January 12]]''' - Tolkien's leave of absence (to recover from his trench fever) ends, but he is far from recovered.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[January 29]]''' - Tolkien faces a Medical Board in Birmingham, but he is not deemed fit to return to war.<ref name="Garth"/>
+
* '''[[29 January|January 29]]''' - Tolkien faces a Medical Board in Birmingham, but he is not deemed fit to return to war.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[February]]''' - Tolkien faces his second Medical Board, but is again deemed unfit for duty.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[February]]''' - Tolkien faces his second Medical Board, but is again deemed unfit for duty.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[February 27]]''' - Tolkien faces his third Medical Board, and again his leave is extended.<ref name="Garth"/>
+
* '''[[27 February|February 27]]''' - Tolkien faces his third Medical Board, and again his leave is extended.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[18 April|April 18]]''' - Tolkien and Wiseman, the Great Twin Brethren, meet in Harrogate, and discuss the fate of the [[T.C.B.S.|Barrovians]] and the future of the Society.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[18 April|April 18]]''' - Tolkien and Wiseman, the Great Twin Brethren, meet in Harrogate, and discuss the fate of the [[T.C.B.S.|Barrovians]] and the future of the Society.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[19 April|April 19]]''' - Tolkien, in revalidation, is assigned to the Humber Garrison, but is not fit enough.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[19 April|April 19]]''' - Tolkien, in revalidation, is assigned to the Humber Garrison, but is not fit enough.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[1 June|June 1]]''' - Tolkien is considered fit for service again, but he is not reassigned to the Lancashire Fusilliers.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[1 June|June 1]]''' - Tolkien is considered fit for service again, but he is not reassigned to the Lancashire Fusilliers.<ref name="Garth"/>
* '''[[June 29]]''' - J.R.R. Tolkien succumbs to gastritis while at Brocton Camp.<ref name="Garth"/>
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* '''[[29 June|June 29]]''' - J.R.R. Tolkien succumbs to gastritis while at Brocton Camp.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[1 August|August 1]]''' - [[Thomas Kenneth Barnsley|"Tea Cake" Barnsley]] is killed in Ypres.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[1 August|August 1]]''' - [[Thomas Kenneth Barnsley|"Tea Cake" Barnsley]] is killed in Ypres.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[13 October|October 13]]'''- Tolkien is found unfit for duty for six months, but able to do a desk job.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[13 October|October 13]]'''- Tolkien is found unfit for duty for six months, but able to do a desk job.<ref name="Garth"/>
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===1919===
 
===1919===
 
* '''[[17 February|February 17]]''' - [[Hilary Tolkien]] returns home.<ref>[[Hilary Tolkien]], [[Angela Gardner]] (ed.), ''[[Black and White Ogre Country]]'', page 50</ref>
 
* '''[[17 February|February 17]]''' - [[Hilary Tolkien]] returns home.<ref>[[Hilary Tolkien]], [[Angela Gardner]] (ed.), ''[[Black and White Ogre Country]]'', page 50</ref>
* '''[[June 28]]''' - The war officially ends, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.<ref name="WP"/>
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* '''[[28 June|June 28]]''' - The war officially ends, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.<ref name="WP"/>
 
* '''[[15 July|July 15]]''' - Tolkien is released from service.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[15 July|July 15]]''' - Tolkien is released from service.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[16 July|July 16]]''' - Tolkien is officially demobilized.<ref name="Garth"/>
 
* '''[[16 July|July 16]]''' - Tolkien is officially demobilized.<ref name="Garth"/>
  
==References==
+
==External links==
<small><references/></small>
+
 
 +
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/people/p_tolkien_app.htm J.R.R. Tolkien's army commission application]
 +
 
 +
{{references}}
  
 
[[Category:World War I| ]]
 
[[Category:World War I| ]]

Revision as of 15:34, 16 July 2012

Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform.
"Who battled have with bloody hands
Through evil times in barren lands,
To whom the voice of guns
Speaks and no longer stuns...
"
Geoffrey Bache Smith, A Spring Harvest

J.R.R. Tolkien served in the British Army during World War I (or the "Great War"), most notably in the bloody Battle of the Somme. The earliest works of the Legendarium—collected in The Book of Lost Tales Part One—were began during the conflict. The extent to which the war and Tolkien's experience of it are reflected in his written work is a matter of much interest in Tolkien scholarship.

Contents

Participants

Barrovians:

Others

Timeline

See also Timeline of World War I at Wikipedia

1914

1915

  • June 10 - Exams start at Oxford University. Because of the war, only Tolkien and 24 others remain in the entire University. Tolkien passes.[1]
  • June 28 - Tolkien applies at the Oxford recruiting office to join the army.[1]
  • July 15 - Tolkien becomes a second lieutenant, and is appointed to the 13th Service Battalion of the Lancashire Fusilliers.[1]
  • September 25 - The Big Four of the T.C.B.S. - Tolkien, Smith, Wiseman and Gilson - have their last meeting.[1]
  • November 21 - G.B. Smith is shipped to France.[1]

1916

1917

  • January 12 - Tolkien's leave of absence (to recover from his trench fever) ends, but he is far from recovered.[1]
  • January 29 - Tolkien faces a Medical Board in Birmingham, but he is not deemed fit to return to war.[1]
  • February - Tolkien faces his second Medical Board, but is again deemed unfit for duty.[1]
  • February 27 - Tolkien faces his third Medical Board, and again his leave is extended.[1]
  • April 18 - Tolkien and Wiseman, the Great Twin Brethren, meet in Harrogate, and discuss the fate of the Barrovians and the future of the Society.[1]
  • April 19 - Tolkien, in revalidation, is assigned to the Humber Garrison, but is not fit enough.[1]
  • June 1 - Tolkien is considered fit for service again, but he is not reassigned to the Lancashire Fusilliers.[1]
  • June 29 - J.R.R. Tolkien succumbs to gastritis while at Brocton Camp.[1]
  • August 1 - "Tea Cake" Barnsley is killed in Ypres.[1]
  • October 13- Tolkien is found unfit for duty for six months, but able to do a desk job.[1]
  • November – Tolkien moves into 50 St. John's Street.[1]
  • November 16 - The Tolkien's first son, John, is born.[1]

1918

  • October 11 - Tolkien is officially released from Brooklands Hospital, Birmingham.[1]
  • November 11 - The War comes to an end in a cease-fire.[4]

1919

External links

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War
  2. The Question of God: Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis
  3. Colin Duriez, Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, "People and Places in His Life"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 World War I at Wikipedia
  5. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
  6. 6.0 6.1 Martin Gilbert, What Tolkien Taught Me about the Battle of the Somme
  7. Hilary Tolkien, Angela Gardner (ed.), Black and White Ogre Country, page 50