Chronology of J.R.R. Tolkien's life

1892: John Reuel Tolkien born 3rd January of Brittish parents in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Brother, Hilary born 1894.
1895: Mother (Mabel Tolkien) takes children back to Birmingham, England. Father (Arthur Tolkien) dies in South Africa.
1900: Ronald begins to attend King Edward's Grammar school.
1904: Mother dies of diabetes, aged 34.
1908: Orphaned boys move to Aunt's home in Birmingham.
1913: Ronald begins first term at Oxford.
1914: Ronald is betrothed to child hood sweetheart Edith Bratt. Great War declared. Returns to Oxford to complete his degree.
1915: Awarded First Class Honours degree in English language and Literature. - Commissioned in Lancashire Fusiiers.
1916: Married Edith Bratt. Goes to war in France. Sees action on the Somme as second lieutenant. Returns to England suffering from shell shock.
1917: While convalescing begins writing "The Simarillion". Birth of first son, John.
1918: Promoted to full lieutenant, posted to Staffordshire. War ends. Returns with family to Oxford, joins staff of New English Dictionary.
1919: Works as a freelance tutor in Oxford
1920: Appointed Reader in English Language at Leeds University. Birth of second son, Michael.
1924: Becomes professor of English Language at Leeds. Third son, Christopher, is born.
1925: Tolkien and E.V. Gordon publish "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". Tolkien elected Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford.
1926: Friendship with C.S. Lewis begins
1929: Fourth child, Priscilla, is born.
1936: Tolkien completes "The Hobbit". Delivers his lecture "Beowulf": "The Monsters and the Critics".
1937: "The Hobbit" is published. Tolkien begins to write a sequel, which eventually becomes "The Lord of the Rings".
1939: Tolkien delivers his lecture on "Fairy stories". Works on "The Lord of the Rings" fitfully throughout the war years.
1945: War ends. Tolkien elected Merton professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford.
1947: Draft of "The Lord of the Rings" sent to publishers.
1948: "The Lord of the Rings" is completed.
1949: Publication of "Farmer Giles of Ham".
1954: Publication of "The Lord of the Rings", volumes One and Two.
1955: Publication of "The Lord of the Rings", volume Three.
1959: Tolkien retires his professor ship.
1962: Publication of "The adventures of Tom Bombadil".
1964: Publication of "Tree and Leaf".
1965: American paper back editions of "The Lord of the Rings" are published and campus cult of the novel begins.
1967: Publication of "Smith of Wooton Major", and "The Road goes ever on".
1968: The Tolkiens move to Poole near Bournemouth.
1971: Edith Tolkien dies, aged 82.
1972: Tolkien returns to Oxford. Receives CBE from the Queen.
1972: Tolkien returns to Oxford. Receives CBE from the Queen.
1973: 2nd September, J.R.R. Tolkien dies aged 81.