J. R. R. Tolkien, Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, 1916. Tolkien served as a signals officer at the Somme, participating in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and the subsequent assault on the Schwaben Redoubt. In late October of 1916 Tolkien came down with trench fever, a disease carried by the lice which were common in the dugouts and was invalided home to England in November of the same year.
"Gentlemen are rare among the superiors, and even human beings rare indeed." - Tolkien’s letter home quoted in John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War.

J. R. R. Tolkien, Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, 1916. Tolkien served as a signals officer at the Somme, participating in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and the subsequent assault on the Schwaben Redoubt. In late October of 1916 Tolkien came down with trench fever, a disease carried by the lice which were common in the dugouts and was invalided home to England in November of the same year.

"Gentlemen are rare among the superiors, and even human beings rare indeed." - Tolkien’s letter home quoted in John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War.