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Old 07-06-2006, 05:58 PM   #49
The Saucepan Man
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
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The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!

Originally Posted by davem
I don't see that Tolkien couldn't have found himself in territory which had been occupied by German troops temporarily ('hence behind their lines').
Originally Posted by Child
Although the front as a whole was fairly stationary, there were very rare instances when one side fell back and the other went forward, leaving a short stretch of trenches in different hands.
But in such cases, the area in which Tolkien would have been stationed would no longer be behind exisitng enemy lines, and so the chances of him coming across any German soldiers in the manner described, let alone cavalry riders, would be negligible.

While I appreciate the romantic appeal of wanting to believe the tale true, and while the possibility that it did happen cannot entirely be dismissed, the weight of evidence points to it being extremely unlikely. Given the conditions in the trenches and the effect of such conditions on the men serving at the front, however, it is not at all unlikely that such a dream would come to seem real to Tolkien, perhaps even to the extent that he later genuinely believed it to have happened.
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
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