theirs not to reason why


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theirs not to reason why

It is not someone's position or place to question or defy a situation, order, or the way things are done. Taken from a line from Lord Alfred Tennyson's 1854 poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade," describing the British cavalry as they obeyed orders to ride into certain death in the Crimean War. Can also be phrased as "ours not to reason why." It is a difficult balance to strike. We must have well trained soldiers who obey orders, theirs not to reason why, yet we can't have those willing to perpetrate war crimes or follow foolish orders to their own deaths, either.
See also: not, reason, theirs, why
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

theirs (or ours) not to reason why

it is not someone's place to question a situation, order, or system.
This phrase comes from Tennyson's poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ ( 1854 ), which describes how, in a notorious incident in the Crimean War, the British cavalry unquestioningly obeyed a suicidal order to ride straight at the Russian guns.
See also: not, reason, theirs, why
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
It wasn't a case of "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die".
Perhaps Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best in his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade, describing the senseless slaughter of British cavalry at the Battle of Balaclava: "Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die."
And still Bush issues the commands: "Forward!" Not tho' the soldier knew Someone had blunder'd Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die.
Wrote Tennyson: "Was there a man dismay'd?/ Not tho' the soldiers knew/ Some one had blunder'd:/ Theirs not to make reply,/ Theirs not to reason why,/ Theirs but to do and die:/ Into the valley of Death/ Rode the six hundred."
Tennyson had it right: "Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die."
Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die, as Alfred Lord Tennyson put it in his heroic poem about the charge of the Light Brigade, which in fact was an idiotic, senseless and completely suicidal assault by a saber-armed British cavalry against Russian artillery in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.