Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Wanted to Enlist in the Military…at Age 55!
Who knew that the author of "Sherlock Holmes" was so patriotic? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known for writing the stories about the famous pipe-smoking detective, once tried to enlist in the military at the ripe old age of 55. The year was 1914, and Europe was ablaze with the start of WWI. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to take up arms with his fellow Brits despite his advanced age.
He told the war office, “I think I may say that my name is well known to the younger men of this country and that if I were to take a commission at my age it would set an example which might be of help.” To his disappointment, his application was turned down, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wasn’t deterred. He was determined to help the war effort in any way possible, and even coordinated defense units made up of civilian volunteers.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dedication to the war effort made such an impact that some of his ideas are still in use today. He invented an early form of the modern-day life jacket, and also once suggested that frontline soldiers be given body armor, no doubt saving many soldiers’ lives.