“The Missing of the Somme” is carved onto the Thiepval Memorial.
As for the Somme, that terrible battle, Davis points out that more than 19,000 Brits died there.
The Missing of the Somme was not merely written as a diversion from rewriting Tender is the Night.
In The Missing of the Somme, one war, the Great War, is more directly his subject.
Smith survived the night patrol, and met Tolkien again on the fringes of the Battle of the Somme that summer.
One followed the right bank of the Somme, passed Peronne, and thence on to Amiens.
Olivers division had gone down to the Somme in July for the great push.
He told us that his guns had had a wonderful target on the Somme in July 1916.
But the real terribleness of the Somme was not in the towns or on the roads.
By the date of the Somme Battle, indeed—in the autumn, that is, of the same year—it had risen enormously.