Chronology: Tolkien on the Somme, 1916

This timeline of Tolkien's activities in France in and around the Battle of the Somme covers key events only. I provide a full account in Tolkien and the Great War, but I reproduce it here from the HarperCollins paperback for the convenience of those who do not have that edition.

6 June: Tolkien arrives in France.
28 June: He joins 11th Lancashire Fusiliers.
1 July: Battle of the Somme begins.
3 July: Tolkien reaches the frontline area.
6–8 July: With G. B. Smith in Bouzincourt.
14–16 July: Tolkien takes part in attack on Ovillers.
17 July: He learns of Rob Gilson’s death.
21 July: He becomes battalion signal officer.
24–30 July: Trenches at Auchonvillers.
7–10 August: Trenches east of Colincamps.
16–23 August: Signal officers’ course, Acheux.
22 August: Dines with Smith in Bouzincourt.
24–26 August: Trenches, Thiepval Wood.
28 August–1 September: Trenches east of Leipzig Salient.
1–5 September: Support trenches near Ovillers.
12–24 September: Training, Franqueville.
27–29 September: Action at Thiepval Wood.
6–12 October: Battalion HQ, Ferme de Mouquet.
13–16 October: Headquarters, Zollern Redoubt.
17–20 October: Ovillers Post and Hessian Trench.
21–22 October: Capture of Regina Trench.
27 October: Tolkien reports sick at Beauval.
28 October: He leaves his service battalion.
29 October–7 November: In hospital, Le Touquet.
8 November: Returns to England on Asturias.



HarperCollins paperback
(text corrected 2011)

John Garth Writer Tolkien And The Great War

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Tolkien and the Great War HMH

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ebook

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