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16791Re: [mythsoc] BBC NEWS | Magazine | The Somme and Tolkien

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  • Jonathan Michael Reiter
    Jul 5, 2006
      Maybe that was for the better. Tolkien was definitely a scholar and not a warrior...
      Jonathan Michael Reiter
      jmr
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Croft, Janet B.
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 11:58 AM
      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] BBC NEWS | Magazine | The Somme and Tolkien


      Well, let me quote from my original source, the Humphrey Carpenter
      biography:

      "In the summer vacation of 1912 Tolkien went into camp for a fortnight
      with King Edward's Horse, a territorial cavalry regiment in which he had
      recently enrolled. He enjoyed the experience of galloping across the
      Kentish plains - the camp was near Folkestone - but it was a wet and
      windy fortnight and the tents were often blown down in the night. This
      taste of life on horseback was enough for him, and he resigned from the
      regiment after a few months" (p.58)

      That's as detailed as it gets, unfortunately. But I suppose rough
      walking and riding might be more pleasurable if there's a pub at the end
      rather than a drafty and uncooperative tent...

      Janet Brennan Croft
      Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html
      Committee Chair, Mythcon37, http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon37.html and
      http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/ProgressReport1.htm

      ________________________________

      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Jonathan Michael Reiter
      Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:00 AM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] BBC NEWS | Magazine | The Somme and Tolkien

      Resigned after a few months? What could have been the matter?
      To quote Patti Smith, "Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses!"
      Land - Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer De, 1976.
      Jonathan Michael Reiter
      jmr
      ps; How can you tell I just dig Horses? I also dig Cats and Dogs.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Croft, Janet B.
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 7:20 AM
      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] BBC NEWS | Magazine | The Somme and Tolkien

      As far as Tolkien's horsemanship skills are concerned - in the summer of
      1912, Tolkien enrolled in King Edward's Horse, a territorial regiment,
      and spent two weeks in a camp in Kent in training, but resigned after a
      few months.

      A most informative article on Tolkien's horsemanship is Helen
      Armstrong's "It Bore Me Away: Tolkien as Horseman" (Mallorn 30 [1993
      Sept] pp 29-31). In it she recounts that Priscilla Tolkien told her at
      Oxonmoot in 1990 that Tolkien learned to ride as part of his basic
      officer training. Armstrong's conclusion is that Tolkien's depiction of
      horses is that of someone who did not grow up around them, but grew to
      love them after military training as a young man, though having little
      opportunity to ride after that.

      Signalling officers were trained in many methods of delivering messages
      by hand, including by horse, motorcycle, and bicycle. I have a copy of
      the 1914 training manual for signaling used by the British Army, and the
      chapter on Despatch Riding includes guidelines on when and how to use
      horses, how many miles between halts, and so on.

      (And I can see that if I ever get a chance to do a second edition of my
      book, I need to add an index entry for horses and/or cavalry!)

      Janet Brennan Croft
      Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html
      <http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html>
      Committee Chair, Mythcon37, http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon37.html
      <http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon37.html> and
      http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/ProgressReport1.htm
      <http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/ProgressReport1.htm>

      ________________________________

      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>
      [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> ] On
      Behalf
      Of John D Rateliff
      Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 6:00 PM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] BBC NEWS | Magazine | The Somme and Tolkien

      The "Schoolmaster" would have been Michael Tolkien.
      Pretty much a work of fiction, I fear. Whoever came up with that
      story doesn't take into account No Man's Land, with its deep mud and
      multiple barriers of barbed wire -- not something a horse could
      casually gallop across.
      As for "Uhlans", wikipedia says some fought in the early weeks of
      the war (e.g., summer/fall 1914) but were then dismounted once trench
      warfare began or else transferred to the Eastern Front, where calvary
      was still actually effective.
      There are also minor quibbles, but let them pass. Clearly
      apocryphal.

      On Jul 3, 2006, at 12:53 PM, Stolzi wrote:
      > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5133000.stm
      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5133000.stm>
      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5133000.stm
      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5133000.stm> >
      >
      > Interesting, but no mention of John Garth's book, though I would
      > bet she has
      > read it, or at least heard him speak.
      >
      > Also I have some trouble with the comment (presently at the bottom)
      > by the
      > Revd John Waddington-Feather. Even if he does give Tolkien's son
      > (which
      > one?) as his authority.
      >
      > A signals officer riding around behind the lines on a cavalry horse?
      > Demonic Uhlans? Reeeeally?
      >
      > I suspect the scene if it ever occurred, occurred primarily, as
      > well as
      > secondarily, in one of Tolkien's nightmares.
      >
      > And if the story is true, why has it never been heard before - by me,
      > anyway? Have any of you heard it?
      >
      > Diamond Proudbrook

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