JRR Tolkien's relatives were dismayed when the writer postponed volunteering after Britain entered the first World War war in August 1914.

"In those days chaps joined up, or were scorned publicly," Tolkien wrote In a 1941 letter to his son Michael. “It was a nasty cleft to be in for a young man with too much imagination and little physical courage."

The writer of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit delayed enlistment until he had completed his final exams at Oxford University, for which he received a first class degree in literature.

In July 1915, Tolkien was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was transferred to the 11th Battalion with the British Expeditionary Force. He arrived in France in June 1916.

Tolkien saw his first active service as a signals officer during the Battle of the Somme, the conflict fought between July and August 1916 where he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of the first book of The Lord of The RingsThe Fellowship of the Ring, which features a grim description of a battlefield, suggesting that Tolkien was haunted by memories of his war experiences.

In the novel, Frodo suffers nightmares, mental illness and even after his journey, is no longer comforted by home, all of which symptoms indicate post-traumatic stress.

Tolkien's experiences during World War I and their impact on his writing were covered in the 2005 book Tolkien and The Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth by John Garth.