John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born January 3rd, 1892, in Bloemfontein , .
His parents were Arthur and Mabel Tolkien. Hilary John's brother .
was born when he was 3. Tolkien probably didn't remember his town of birth very .
well because at the age of four his father died so they moved to the West Midlands .
in England. This was a mixture of industrial and rural area. Shortly after that they .
moved to more pleasant Birmingham suburb of Edgebaston. Tolkien's family didn't .
live well but they were not in poverty. .
In 1904, something tragic happened, Mabel Tolkien was diagnosed with .
diabetes which was incurable. She died later on that year which left her two boys .
orphaned. The family's Catholic minister looked after the boys, but they were .
boarded with their aunt Beatrice Suffield , and then with Mrs. Faulkner. Tolkien .
made many friends at his school King Edward's, and had spent some time making .
up his own languages. When Tolkien was sixteen he became close with a friend .
Edith Bratt. His minister, Father Francis found out about this and disallowed him .
from seeing her for three years. .
Tolkien attended Exeter College, Oxford in 1911. While he enrolled there he .
spent most of his time studying classic languages such as: Old English, the .
Germanic languages (especially gothic), Welsh, and Finnish. He studied these until .
1913, when he got back together with Edith. He only finished with a second degree .
in Honour Moderations of a 4 year "Greats" (ie.classics) course. He then went to .
school for english language and literature, because of the result of his other course. .
War broke out in England but Tolkien went back to Oxford. He worked hard and .
achieved his first degree. .
Later, he was sent to fight in the war on the Western Front. After four .
months in the insanitary conditions of the war he caught "trench fever." With the .
exception of himslef and all but one of his close friends died in the war. During .