|Farmer Giles of Ham|
1. John Ronald Reul Tolkien was born in Bloem-fontein, South Africa, on January 3, 1892. The Tolkien family moved back to England three years later, when J. R. R.’s father took ill. J. R. R.’s father died when he was 4 years old, and his mother died when he was 12. After that, he and his brother were left in the care of Father Francis Morgan, a Catholic priest.
2. After graduating from Oxford University in 1915, Tolkien joined the British Army to fight in World War I. In his first year of service he took part in the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in human history, where more than 1 million men were killed or wounded, including many of Tolkien’s friends. “By 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead,” he would later write. As biographer Bradley J. Birzer says, “Though he spent less than a year in the war, if affected him deeply. Tolkien had lost several of his closest friends, and their loss, he believed, gave him an even greater duty to carry on their jointly conceived project, which was to do God’s will in the world.” Read More