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BBC NEWS | Magazine | The Somme and Tolkien

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  • Stolzi
    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
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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      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
    • Edith.Crowe@sjsu.edu
      That Waddington-Feather story seems very dubious for me--I find it hard to believe an incident that dramatic has never been mentioned by anyone else. It sounds
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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        That Waddington-Feather story seems very dubious for me--I find it hard to
        believe an incident that dramatic has never been mentioned by anyone else.
        It sounds overly dramatic and over-the-top, and it seems to require a
        degree of horsemanship that I'd be surprised to learn that Tolkien
        possessed...unless I missed the riding to hounds portion of his biography.
        It does irritate me that she never even mentioned the fact that two
        excellent books on Tolkien and war have even been written--let alone
        acknowledge her debt. I can't believe she hasn't Garth, or at least was
        aware of his book.

        Edith L. Crowe | (408) 808-2037 | edith.crowe@...
        Corresponding Secretary of the Mythopoeic Society (http://www.mythsoc.org)

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John D Rateliff
        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
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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          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
          >
          > 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



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Stolzi
          Anyway, Wikipedia confirms my belief that it was death s-head Hussars, not death s-head Uhlans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totenkopf And yes, the parallel
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 3, 2006
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            Anyway, Wikipedia confirms my belief that it was "death's-head Hussars," not death's-head Uhlans.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totenkopf

            And yes, the parallel between "Morgoth's iron dragons" and armored tanks - well, it's always possible the BBC author came up with that independently, but I know that =I= heard it from John Garth.

            Diamond Proudbrook

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Stolzi
            Some scholar ought to beard Mr Waddington-Feather and ask to =see= his correspondence with Michael Tolkien. Diamond Proudbrook [Non-text portions of this
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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              Some scholar ought to beard Mr Waddington-Feather and ask to =see= his correspondence with Michael Tolkien.

              Diamond Proudbrook

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • WendellWag@aol.com
              In a message dated 7/4/2006 11:32:58 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@comcast.net writes: Some scholar ought to beard Mr Waddington-Feather and ask to =see=
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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                In a message dated 7/4/2006 11:32:58 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                Stolzi@... writes:



                Some scholar ought to beard Mr Waddington-Feather and ask to =see= his
                correspondence with Michael Tolkien.





                Why don't you contact the BBC (either by E-mail or by letter) and point out
                all the problems that you and others in this thread have mentioned so far?
                You've made a good case that the author of the article hasn't acknowledged her
                sources and that the letter by Waddington-Feather contains a rather dubious
                story supposedly acquired from Michael Tolkien. You're the one who's
                uncovered the mistakes here, so it should be you who points them out. No need to be
                shy about this.

                Wendell


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Croft, Janet B.
                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
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                  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
                  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 John D Rateliff
                  Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 6:00 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.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>
                  >
                  > 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

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jonathan Michael Reiter
                  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
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                    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
                    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
                    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 John D Rateliff
                    Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 6:00 PM
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.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>
                    >
                    > 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

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Croft, Janet B.
                    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
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                      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

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Jonathan Michael Reiter
                      Maybe that was for the better. Tolkien was definitely a scholar and not a warrior... Jonathan Michael Reiter jmr ... From: Croft, Janet B. To:
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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                      • Merlin DeTardo
                        Did anything further come of last summer s questionable report of Tolkien s equestrian adventure on the Western Front? This week at TheOneRing.net, there is a
                        Message 11 of 15 , Dec 12, 2006
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                          Did anything further come of last summer's questionable report of
                          Tolkien's equestrian adventure on the Western Front?

                          This week at TheOneRing.net, there is a discussion of the use that
                          Tolkien makes of horses in LotR; the first part of the discussion
                          appears here:

                          http://www.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/457D98CE
                          00026287.html

                          One respondent to that thread noted the Rev. John Waddington-
                          Feather's story. There as here, some people expressed doubts (and
                          having subsequently found the discussion here, I have posted a link
                          in the TORn thread to this list's archives, recommending
                          particularly John and Janet's responses). One participant in the
                          new discussion has written to Waddington-Feather for further
                          information (no response yet), but had someone here (or elsewhere,
                          if you know) already followed up on that angle? Diamond?

                          -Merlin DeTardo


                          >>---"Stolzi" <Stolzi@...> wrote:
                          >> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5133000.stm
                          >> 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
                        • Carl F. Hostetter
                          Merlin, I m afraid that Diamond Proudbuck , whom you quote in this matter, was Mary Stolzenbach, who passed away last summer. (I hoped to convey this to you
                          Message 12 of 15 , Dec 13, 2006
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                            Merlin,

                            I'm afraid that "Diamond Proudbuck", whom you quote in this matter,
                            was Mary Stolzenbach, who passed away last summer.

                            (I hoped to convey this to you privately, but your reply-to e-mail
                            address in your post (<emptyD@...>) appears to be fictitious.)

                            Carl
                          • Merlin DeTardo
                            Carl and everyone: Please accept my apologies for addressing the late Mary Stolzenbach -- I had no idea. My belated condolences to all who knew her. Carl,
                            Message 13 of 15 , Dec 13, 2006
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                              Carl and everyone:

                              Please accept my apologies for addressing the late Mary Stolzenbach --
                              I had no idea. My belated condolences to all who knew her.

                              Carl, thank you for letting me know.

                              -Merlin DeTardo



                              P.S. My e-mail address is not fictitious; as Carl notes it
                              begins "emptyD", and it ends with "@...". -MTD


                              >>--"Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
                              >> Merlin,
                              >> I'm afraid that "Diamond Proudbuck", whom you quote in this
                              matter, was Mary Stolzenbach, who passed away last summer.
                              >> (I hoped to convey this to you privately, but your reply-to e-mail
                              address in your post (<emptyD@...>) appears to be fictitious.)
                              >> Carl
                            • William Cloud Hicklin
                              The Rev. Mr. Waddington-Feather did reply to a poster on The Barrow-Downs forum. I m pretty certain that he s not a crank or a liar, that he really is
                              Message 14 of 15 , Dec 13, 2006
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                                The Rev. Mr. Waddington-Feather did reply to a poster on The
                                Barrow-Downs forum. I'm pretty certain that he's not a crank
                                or a liar, that he really is relating what he remembers of
                                what Michael T. told him years ago. The problem is that he
                                may have misheard or misremembered, that Michael may have
                                misheard or misremembered, and moreover Michael apparently
                                wasn't above spinning a yarn.


                                I doubt that any such event happened in waking life. Not only
                                was Tolkien's duty and the Somme battlefield such that the
                                whole story is unlikely in the extreme, but I've also
                                determined that the 1 and 2 Leib-Husaren (Totenkopf) were
                                nowhere near the Somme in 1916. (That leaves the 17er
                                Braunschweig- anybody know where they were?)

                                There is a possibility that Tolkien had a nightmare along
                                those lines (although I suppose in a classic dream pattern
                                that final jump would have led to awakening, not landing).
                                Perhaps the subconscious source was war propaganda. After all,
                                the association of skull-and-crossbones badges with German
                                cavalry must have come from somewhere: and Uhlans* figured
                                prominently in "rape of Belgium" stories. In fact, the story
                                has some of the flavor of the "tales from the front" the
                                British papers loved to print in the early days of the war,
                                especially in connection with Mons (where there was a great
                                deal of cavalry activity). Additionally, in fall 1914 German
                                cavalry still wore their busbys and shakoes, whereas by mid-
                                1916 they had gone to standard helmets.

                                *Uhlan is a Polish loan-word for lancer, a term which most
                                German armies adopted during or after the Napoleonic wars.
                                However, in 1914 the IGS issued lances to all cavalry
                                regiments, and withdrew sabres soon thereafter; Allied
                                soldiers understandably called all German horse "Uhlans,"
                                regardless of regiment.
                              • Merlin DeTardo
                                Thank you for that information. I d not visited the Barrow-Downs forum before. That discussion can be found here:
                                Message 15 of 15 , Dec 13, 2006
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                                  Thank you for that information. I'd not visited the Barrow-Downs
                                  forum before. That discussion can be found here:

                                  http://www.forum.barrowdowns.com/showthread.php?t=12979&page=1

                                  The correspondence from Fr. Waddington-Feather appears in message
                                  #31, posted July 5, 2006.

                                  I think one small correction should be made to Waddington-Feather's
                                  remarks posted there: he writes that Tolkien "was Professor of
                                  English at Leeds just before I went there", but Tolkien left in 1925,
                                  and Waddington-Feather, b. 1933, would have attended in the early
                                  1950s. His larger point about Tolkien's lasting influence on Leeds's
                                  English Dept. (at that time) apparently stands, if I correctly
                                  remember Tom Shippey's comments on that point.

                                  -Merlin DeTardo


                                  >>---"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
                                  >> The Rev. Mr. Waddington-Feather did reply to a poster on The
                                  Barrow-Downs forum. I'm pretty certain that he's not a crank or a
                                  liar, that he really is relating what he remembers of what Michael T.
                                  told him years ago. The problem is that he may have misheard or
                                  misremembered, that Michael may have misheard or misremembered, and
                                  moreover Michael apparently wasn't above spinning a yarn.
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