Many have siphoned their wartime experiences into their literature later on in life, even in fiction. Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Whitman, J.D. Salinger, T.S. Eliot — be it on the civilian side or the military, it has been a creative outlet for many who wish to express those feelings in a manner more digestible than a simple retelling of the facts.
Two soldiers, who coincidentally served in the same war and in the same major Battle of the Somme, would go on to write epic fantasy series, and would even become friends with one another later in life — C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis wrote the Narnia series, and Tolkien invented Middle Earth, and both wrote several books in their respective universes.
If one would think of a fantasy novel written by two combat veterans of WWI, they would probably think of the epic battles. Of dragons and lions, or thousands of men slaughtering thousands more on a field. They might think of orcs or the White Witch as a metaphor for historical antagonistic forces.
But there is something else that fills the pages of the novels by both of these authors. It’s something that even today’s military veterans might smirk at and shake their heads. Both authors have their battles, usually a culminating fight at the climax of the book. Both have their heroes and their villains. But above all, both have a whole lot of walking.