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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you."

Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 3 2014, 2:18pm


Views: 164
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"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you." [In reply to] Can't Post

The key phrase is "in the trenches".

Yes, I've seen figures for survival rates for "the Eaton Boys" anywhere from 20% to 33%. (As an aside, the film Mary Poppins (1964) always makes me sad as surely young Michael Banks is destined to be an Eton Boy.)

Of course those percentages also include those junior officers who served safely back in headquarters as opposed to being in the trenches.

I've seen estimates of survival rates of junior British officers during various campaigns as low as two weeks. Interesingly, though the image of the trenches as the ultimate abattoir is well deserved, far more dismal was the survival rate of Allied junior officers during the Normandy hedgerow campaign of 1944: one week.

Actually, Tolkien might have had an advantage over his fellow public school officers. Due to superior diet and exercise, most were taller and broader than the lower class enlisted men they commanded, making them prominent and easy targets for the enemy.

However, from Letter #294:

I am not in fact tall, or strongly built. I now measure 5 ft 8 1/2, and am very slightly built, with notably small hands. For most of my life I have been very thin and underweight.

Those characteristics may well have saved Tolkien's life.

******************************************
A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed. "A chicken crossing the road!" he thought. "Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a chicken crossing the road! There's something mighty queer behind this." He was quite right, but he never found out any more because he ate it.

Subject User Time
How did I never notice this before? 1973 Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 30 2014, 7:18pm
    That ain't no coincidence, I tell you that! ;) // BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Mar 30 2014, 7:21pm
    Oooh! Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Mar 30 2014, 7:25pm
        Count me in! // BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Mar 30 2014, 7:26pm
            Me too!// Eruvandi Send a private message to Eruvandi Mar 30 2014, 9:04pm
    That is chilling./ Patty Send a private message to Patty Mar 30 2014, 8:57pm
        That is creepy DaughterofLaketown Send a private message to DaughterofLaketown Mar 30 2014, 9:02pm
    Wow...that is just too...weird! // dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Mar 30 2014, 11:24pm
    Whoa... One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Mar 31 2014, 12:56pm
    So, Tolkien scholars.... Lily Fairbairn Send a private message to Lily Fairbairn Mar 31 2014, 2:27pm
        My goose has bumps too ! Bracegirdle Send a private message to Bracegirdle Mar 31 2014, 6:24pm
    eek phij2 Send a private message to phij2 Mar 31 2014, 7:17pm
    Major goosebumps! RangerLady23 Send a private message to RangerLady23 Mar 31 2014, 8:54pm
        He was a genius Gunslinger24 Send a private message to Gunslinger24 Mar 31 2014, 10:05pm
    Weird! nandorin elf Send a private message to nandorin elf Mar 31 2014, 11:19pm
    *jaw drops* whoa.... grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Mar 31 2014, 11:55pm
    Wow! Truth really is stranger than fiction Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Apr 1 2014, 12:26pm
    That is both spooky and fascinating! // Ziggy Stardust Send a private message to Ziggy Stardust Apr 2 2014, 12:51am
    What are the mathematical chances of his death occurring in that year? Patty Send a private message to Patty Apr 2 2014, 3:45am
        I think it would take an actuary to answer that question. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Apr 2 2014, 4:39pm
            Really? Not being at all good at math I would have said Patty Send a private message to Patty Apr 2 2014, 5:31pm
            I think an actuary would be just as close as you entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Apr 2 2014, 10:28pm
        The odds were greater than 50% but I don't know how much greater squire Send a private message to squire Apr 2 2014, 8:56pm
            I think the question is ambiguous. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Apr 2 2014, 10:02pm
        Astronomical Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Apr 2 2014, 8:59pm
            That seems high squire Send a private message to squire Apr 2 2014, 10:19pm
                "If you survive your first day, I'll promote you." Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Apr 3 2014, 2:18pm

 
 
 

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