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Old 11-11-2016, 07:43 AM   #1
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Sting Remembrance Day

We have threads to celebrate Tolkien's Birthday and Tolkien's Deathday, and we have celebrated other significant anniversaries in Middle-earth: the publication date of the Fellowship, Bilbo and Frodo's birthday, etc.

So it seems fittingly in keeping with that spirit to me if we put up a thread for Remembrance Day--Armistice Day, as it was once known. Though the day has accrued significance in different places for additional reasons (WWII and the Korean War, for example), its origin is in "the Great War," "the war to end all wars" (alas, not so). This was a defining time for Tolkien's generation and for Tolkien specifically.

His fiction would not have been the same without it; much has been written of how The Lord of the Rings reflects his experiences. Beyond that, Middle-earth as we know it was first given written form during the war and during Tolkien's convalescence from it.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:47 PM   #2
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I happen to be living in Warwickshire for the time being and I had Tolkien quotes in my mind as I drove through some of its lovely countryside - Bilbo saying how Frodo was still in love with the Shire and then Frodo saying how he had tried to save the Shire and it had been but not for him. And I remembered my great uncle in the RFC and his cousin in the Warwickshire regiment born a few miles and months apart and buried a few miles apart near Amiens - a poignant indicator of how little advance had been made in the nearly two years that separated their deaths aged just 18 and 19.

"So they gave their bodies to the commonwealth and received each for his memory praise that will never die and with it the grandest of all sepulchres, not that in which their mortal bones are laid, but a home in the minds of men, where their glory remains fresh to stir to speech or action as the occasion comes by. For the whole earth is a sepulchre of famous men' and their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other men's lives."-
“But Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar.”

Christopher Tolkien, Requiescat in pace
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
Faramir Jones
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White Tree A talk I gave last Friday

Thanks for starting this thread, Formendacil.

Last Friday, I was thinking of two relatives who joined the UK's armed forces in WWI. Of those two, one came back; the other didn't, and is buried in West Flanders.

On the evening of the same day, I gave a talk to fellow members of a numismatic society, on the topic of 'The Victoria Cross'.

It was only some time after the society's secretary gave me 11th November as an available date for the talk, that I realised how appropriate it was.

When doing research about the Cross, I came across what was said about it by Ken McKay, whose son, Sergeant Ian McKay, in the Parachute Regiment, was given a posthumous VC on 9th November 1982 due to what he did in the recent Falklands War: 'I'm the proudest man in the world but I would rather have Ian alive'.
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