...meaning to get on with the job in spite of adversity, with no further complaining, and stop your snivvling regardless of how down and out you may feel.|
Solider on, as an expression seems to have been with us for a good while. I have a feeling that it originated with the British Army, probably during the Boer War, or the First World War, or possibly with Rudyard Kipling. This is no more than a hunch.
Does anyone have an authoritative reference as to its origin?
||Webster's has the intransitive verb, "soldier," at 1647, about 300+ years after the noun, but well before Kipling or the Bœr schtick. THe phrase "soldier on" is the paradigmatic case the dictionary uses to exemplify the use of the verb.|