Monday, December 17, 2007

Convalescing ...

No posts in the last few days, as I’ve come down with a nasty winter cold and have been laid up in bed the last two days. I actually returned to work today, though I was really here only in body. (Oh, and it didn’t help that our smoke detectors all went off at 4:30 this morning for no reason whatsoever, completely unsettling both us and the dogs.) Ah well, I seem to be on the mend, and at least it’s not trench fever.

Speaking of which (and let it never be said I can’t turn any post into a chance to talk about Tolkien — to my wife’s chagrin!), here’s an interesting piece of Tolkien ephemera for your perusal — while I lie here sniffling and hacking. Go on, enjoy yourselves; I don't mind. ;)

The page includes reproductions of Tolkien’s application for an army commission on 28 June 1915; a copy of the report from Tolkien’s service record confirming his case of trench fever, dated 22 November 1916; and a letter from Tolkien to the War Office on the 2nd of January 1917, declaring himself fit for duty. The opening to a very important year for Tolkien. Fortunately for everyone, a series of relapses, followed by the birth of his first son, John, kept him in England. Had he returned to the western front, he would certainly have joined the “many bereaved or maimed and millions dead” [1].

Wonderful to get a look at these artifacts, isn’t it?

[1] Tolkien actually wrote these words to his son Christopher about World War II (Letters, #96, p.111), but mutatis mutandis, they seem to apply equally well to the Great War.


  1. I hope you are already healthy. Take care, Jason!

  2. Much better today, but not yet operating on all cylinders. Soon, I hope. Thanks for dropping in! :)