T. E. Lawrence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Thomas Edward Lawrence
August 16, 1888 (1888-08-16) – May 19, 1935 (1935-05-20) (aged 46)

T. E. Lawrence at the arrival of Sir Herbert Samuel, H.B.M. high commissioner.
Nickname Lawrence of Arabia
Place of birth Tremadog, Caernarfonshire, North Wales
Place of death Bovington Camp, Dorset, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1914 – 1918
1923 – 1935
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars First World War
*Arab Revolt
*Siege of Medina
*Battle of Fwelia
*Battle of Aba el Lissan
*Battle of Aqaba
*Battle of Talifeh
*Battle of Deraa
*Capture of Damascus
*Battle of Megiddo
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath[1]
Distinguished Service Order[2]
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur[3]
Croix de Guerre[4]

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence CB, DSO (16 August 1888[5]19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British soldier renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt of 1916–18. His vivid writings, along with the extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, have made him the object of fascination throughout the world as Lawrence of Arabia, a title popularised by the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia based on his life.

Lawrence's public image was due in part to American journalist Lowell Thomas's sensationalised reportage of the Revolt, as well as to Lawrence's autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom.


[edit] Early years

Lawrence was born at "Remadoc" in Tremadog, Caernarfonshire (now Gwynedd), North Wales. His Anglo-Irish father, Sir Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, who in 1914 inherited the title of seventh Baronet of Westmeath in Ireland, had abandoned his wife Edith for his daughters' governess Sarah Junner (born illegitimately of a father named Lawrence, and who styled herself 'Miss Lawrence' in the Chapman household).[6] The couple did not marry.

Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner had five illegitimate sons, of whom Thomas Edward was the second eldest. The family lived at 2 Polstead Road (now marked with a blue plaque) in Oxford, under the names of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence. Thomas Edward (known in the family as "Ned") attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys, where one of the four houses was later named "Lawrence" in his honour; the school closed in 1966.[7] As a schoolboy, one of his favourite pastimes was to cycle to country churches and make brass rubbings. Lawrence and one of his brothers became commissioned officers in the Church Lads' Brigade at St Aldate's Church.

T. E. Lawrence’s birth-place. The house was originally called 'Gorphwysfa' before being given the English name of 'Woodlands'. Later it reverted to the original name, albeit using modern Welsh orthography as 'Gorffwysfa', but this has more recently been changed to 'Lawrence House'
T. E. Lawrence and Leonard Woolley (right) in Carchemish, Spring 1913

Lawrence claimed that in about 1905, he ran away from home and served for a few weeks as a boy soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery at St Mawes Castle in Cornwall; he was bought out. No evidence of this can be found in army records.

From 1907 Lawrence was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. During the summers of 1907 and 1908, he toured France by bicycle, collecting photographs, drawings and measurements of castles dating from the mediaeval period. In the summer of 1909, he set out alone on a three-month walking tour of crusader castles in Syria, during which he travelled 1,000 miles on foot. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours after submitting a thesis entitled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture – to the end of the 12th century based on his own field research in France, notably in Châlus, and the Middle East.

On completing his degree in 1910, Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in mediaeval pottery with a Senior Demy at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut, and on arrival went to Jbail (Byblos), where he studied Arabic. He then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish, near Jerablus in northern Syria, where he worked under D. G. Hogarth and R. Campbell-Thompson of the British Museum. He would later state that everything that he had accomplished, he owed to Hogarth.[8] As the site lay close to the Turkish border, near an important crossing on the Baghdad Railway, knowledge gathered there was of considerable importance for military intelligence. While excavating ancient Mesopotamian sites, Lawrence met Gertrude Bell, who was to influence him during his time in the Middle East.

In late summer 1911, Lawrence returned to England for a brief sojourn. By November he was en route to Beirut for a second season at Carchemish, where he was to work with Leonard Woolley. Prior to resuming work there, however, he briefly worked with William Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar in Egypt.

Lawrence continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of World War I. In January 1914, Woolley and Lawrence were co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert. They were funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the "Wilderness of Zin"; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman army attacking Egypt in the event of war. Woolley and Lawrence subsequently published a report of the expedition's archaeological findings,[9] but a more important result was an updated mapping of the area, with special attention to features of military relevance such as water sources. Lawrence also visited Aqaba and Petra.

From March to May 1914, Lawrence worked again at Carchemish. Following the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, on the advice of S. F. Newcombe, Lawrence did not immediately enlist in the British Army; He held back until October, when he was commissioned on the General List.

[edit] Arab Revolt

At the outbreak of World War I Lawrence was a university post-graduate researcher who had for years travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire provinces of the Levant (Transjordan and Palestine) and Mesopotamia (Syria and Iraq) under his own name. As such he became known to the Turkish Interior Ministry authorities and their German technical advisors. Lawrence came into contact with the Ottoman-German technical advisers, travelling over the German-designed, -built and -financed railways during the course of his researches.

Lawrence at Rabegh, north of Jidda, 1917
Lawrence at Akaba, 1917

Even if Lawrence had not volunteered, the British would probably have recruited him for his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. He was eventually posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC Middle East.

Contrary to later myth, it was not Lawrence or the Army that conceptualised a campaign of internal insurgency against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East: it was the Arab Bureau of Britain's Foreign Office. The Arab Bureau had long felt it likely that a campaign instigated and financed by outside powers, supporting the breakaway-minded tribes and regional challengers to the Turkish government's centralised rule of their empire, would pay great dividends in the diversion of effort that would be needed to meet such a challenge. The Arab Bureau was the first to recognise what is today called the "asymmetry" of such conflict. The Ottoman authorities would have to devote from hundred to a thousand times the resources to contain the threat of such an internal rebellion compared to the Allies' cost of sponsoring it.

At that point in the Foreign Office’s thinking they were not considering the region as candidate territories for incorporation in the British Empire, but only as an extension of the range of British Imperial influence, and the weakening and destruction of a German ally, the Ottoman Empire.

During the war, Lawrence fought with Arab irregular troops under the command of Emir Faisal, a son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca, in extended guerrilla operations against the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence's major contribution to World War I was convincing Arab leaders to co-ordinate their revolt to aid British interests.[citation needed] He persuaded the Arabs not to drive the Ottomans out of Medina, thus forcing the Turkish army to tie up troops in the city garrison. The Arabs were then able to direct most of their attention to the Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This tied up more Ottoman troops, who were forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage.

In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action with the Arab irregulars and forces under Auda Abu Tayi (until then in the employ of the Ottomans) against the strategically located port city of Aqaba. He was promoted to major in the same year. On 6 July, after an overland attack, Aqaba fell to Arab forces. The following year, Lawrence was involved in the capture of Damascus in the final weeks of the war and was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1918. In newly liberated Damascus – which he had envisioned as the capital of an Arab state – Lawrence was instrumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Faisal. Faisal's rule as king, however, came to an abrupt end in 1920, after the battle of Maysaloun, when the French Forces of General Gouraud under the command of General Mariano Goybet, entered Damascus, breaking Lawrence's dream of an independent Arabia.

As was his habit when travelling before the war, Lawrence adopted many local customs and traditions (many photographs show him in the desert wearing white Arab garb and riding camels), and he soon became a confidant of Prince Faisal.

During the closing years of the war he sought, with mixed success, to convince his superiors in the British government that Arab independence was in their interests.

In 1918 he co-operated with war correspondent Lowell Thomas for a short period. During this time Thomas and his cameraman Harry Chase shot much film and many photographs, which Thomas used in a highly lucrative film that toured the world after the war.

Lawrence was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the French Légion d'Honneur, though in October 1918 he refused to be made a Knight Commander of the British Empire.

[edit] Post-war years

Emir Faisal's party at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Left to right: Rustum Haidar, Nuri as-Said, Prince Faisal, Captain Pisani (behind Faisal), T. E. Lawrence, Faisal's black slave (name unknown), Captain Hassan Khadri.
Col. T. E. Lawrence, Emir Abdullah, Air Marshal Sir Geoffrey Salmond, Sir Herbert Samuel H.B.M. high commissioner and Sir Wyndham Deedes and others in Palestine

Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office, attending the Paris Peace Conference between January and May as a member of Faisal's delegation.

Lowell Thomas's film was seen by four million people in the post-war years, giving Lawrence great publicity.[citation needed] Until then, Lawrence had little influence, but soon newspapers began to report his opinions. Consequently he served for much of 1921 as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office.

Lawrence was ambivalent about Thomas's publicity, calling him a "vulgar man," though he saw Thomas's show several times.[citation needed] In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross. He was soon exposed and, in February 1923, was forced out of the RAF. He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally admitted him in August 1925. A fresh burst of publicity after the publication of Revolt in the Desert (see below) resulted in his assignment to a remote base in British India in late 1926, where he remained until the end of 1928. At that time he was forced to return to the UK after rumours began to circulate that he was involved in espionage activities.

He purchased several small plots of land in Chingford, built a hut and swimming pool there, and visited frequently. This was removed in 1930 when the Chingford UDC acquired the land and passed it to the City of London Corporation , but re-erected in the grounds of the Warren, Loughton, where it remains, neglected, today. Lawrence's tenure of the Chingford land has now been commemorated by a plaque fixed on the sighting obelisk on Pole Hill.

He continued serving in the RAF based at Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.

Lawrence was a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles.[10] His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum. Among the books Lawrence is known to have carried with him on his military campaigns is Thomas Malory's Morte D'Arthur; accounts of the 1934 discovery of the Winchester Manuscript of the Morte include a report that Lawrence followed Eugene Vinaver - a Malory scholar - by motorcycle from Manchester to Winchester upon reading of the discovery in The Times.[11]

Lawrence on a Brough Superior SS100

[edit] Death

At age 46, a few weeks after leaving the service, Lawrence was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident while piloting a Brough Superior SS100 in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. The accident occurred because of a dip in the road that obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control and was thrown over the handlebars of his motorcycle. He died six days later. The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road. The circumstances of Lawrence's death would have far reaching consequences, however. One of the doctors attending him was the neurosurgeon, Hugh Cairns. He was profoundly affected by the incident and consequently began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries and his research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists. As a consequence of treating Lawrence, Sir Hugh Cairns would ultimately save the lives of many motorcyclists.[12]

Some sources mistakenly claim that Lawrence was buried in St Paul's Cathedral; in reality, only a bust of him was placed in the crypt. His final resting place is the Dorset village of Moreton.[13] Moreton Estate, which borders Bovington Camp, was owned by family cousins, the Frampton family. Lawrence had rented and subsequently purchased Clouds Hill from the Framptons. He had been a frequent visitor to their home, Okers Wood House, and had for many years corresponded with Louisa Frampton.

On Lawrence's death, his mother wrote to the Framptons asking whether there was space for him in their family plot at Moreton Church. At his funeral there T. E. Lawrence's coffin was transported on the Frampton estate's bier; attendees included Winston and Clementine Churchill and Lawrence's youngest brother, Arnold. The famous stone effigy of Lawrence can be seen at the Saxon church in Wareham.

[edit] Writings

Throughout his life, Lawrence was a prolific writer. A large portion of his output was epistolary; he often sent several letters a day. Several collections of his letters have been published. He corresponded with many notable figures, including George Bernard Shaw, Edward Elgar, Winston Churchill, Robert Graves and E. M. Forster. He met Joseph Conrad and commented perceptively on his works. The many letters that he sent to Shaw's wife, Charlotte, offer a revealing side of his character.[14]

In his lifetime, Lawrence published four major texts. Two were translations: Homer's Odyssey, and The Forest Giant – the latter an otherwise forgotten work of French fiction. He received a flat fee for the second translation, and negotiated a generous fee plus royalties for the first.

[edit] Seven Pillars

14 Barton Street, London S.W.1, where Lawrence lived while writing Seven Pillars.

Lawrence's major work is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an account of his war experiences. In 1919 he had been elected to a seven-year research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, providing him with support while he worked on the book. In addition to being a memoir of his experiences during the war, certain parts also serve as essays on military strategy, Arabian culture and geography, and other topics. Lawrence re-wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom three times; once "blind" after he lost the manuscript while changing trains at Reading Station.

The accusation that Lawrence repeatedly exaggerated his feats has been a persistent theme among commentators.[citation needed] The list of his alleged "embellishments" in Seven Pillars is long, though many such allegations have been disproved with time, most definitively in Jeremy Wilson's authorised biography. However Lawrence's own notebooks confirm that his claim to have crossed The Sinai Peninsula from Aqaba to the Suez Canal in just 49 hours without any sleep was not true. In reality this famous camel ride lasted for more than 70 hours and was interrupted by two long breaks for sleeping which Lawrence omitted when he wrote his book.[citation needed]

Lawrence acknowledged having been helped in the editing of the book by George Bernard Shaw. In the preface to Seven Pillars, Lawrence offered his "thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Shaw for countless suggestions of great value and diversity: and for all the present semicolons."

The first public edition was published in 1926 as a high-priced private subscription edition. Lawrence was afraid that the public would think that he would make a substantial income from the book, and he stated that it was written as a result of his war service. He vowed not to take any money from it, and indeed he did not, as the sale price was one third of the production costs.[15] This left Lawrence in substantial debt.

[edit] Revolt

1919 sketch by Augustus John

Revolt in the Desert was an abridged version of Seven Pillars, which he began in 1926 and was published in March 1927 in both limited and trade editions. He undertook a needed but reluctant publicity exercise, which resulted in a best-seller. Again he vowed not to take any fees from the publication, partly to appease the subscribers to Seven Pillars who had paid dearly for their editions. By the fourth reprint in 1927, the debt from Seven Pillars was paid off. As Lawrence left for military service in India at the end of 1926, he set up the "Seven Pillars Trust" with his friend D. G. Hogarth as a trustee, in which he made over the copyright and any surplus income of Revolt in the Desert. He later told Hogarth that he had "made the Trust final, to save myself the temptation of reviewing it, if Revolt turned out a best seller."

The resultant trust paid off the debt, and Lawrence then invoked a clause in his publishing contract to halt publication of the abridgment in the UK. However, he allowed both American editions and translations, which resulted in a substantial flow of income. The trust paid income either into an educational fund for children of RAF officers who lost their lives or were invalided as a result of service, or more substantially into the RAF Benevolent Fund set up by Air-Marshal Trenchard, founder of the RAF, in 1919.

[edit] Posthumous

He also authored The Mint,[16] a memoir of his experiences as an enlisted man in the Royal Air Force. Lawrence worked from a notebook that he kept while enlisted, writing of the daily lives of enlisted men and his desire to be a part of something larger than himself: the Royal Air Force. The book is stylistically very different from Seven Pillars of Wisdom, using sparse prose as opposed to the complicated syntax found in Seven Pillars. It was published posthumously, edited by his brother, Professor A. W. Lawrence.

After Lawrence's death, his brother inherited all Lawrence's estate and his copyrights as the sole beneficiary. To pay the inheritance tax, he sold the U.S. copyright of Seven Pillars of Wisdom (subscribers' text) outright to Doubleday Doran in 1935. Doubleday still controls publication rights of this version of the text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the USA. In 1936 he split the remaining assets of the estate, giving "Clouds Hill" and many copies of less substantial or historical letters to the nation via the National Trust, and then set up two trusts to control interests in Lawrence's residual copyrights. To the original Seven Pillars Trust he assigned the copyright in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as a result of which it was given its first general publication. To the Letters and Symposium Trust, he assigned the copyright in The Mint and all Lawrence's letters, which were subsequently edited and published in the book T. E. Lawrence by his Friends (edited by A. W. Lawrence, London, Jonathan Cape, 1937).

A substantial amount of income went directly to the RAF Benevolent Fund or for archaeological, environmental, or academic projects. The two trusts were amalgamated in 1986, and, on the death of Prof. A. W. Lawrence, also acquired all the remaining rights to Lawrence's works that it had not owned, plus rights to all of Prof. Lawrence's works.

[edit] Sexuality

Although there is "little evidence of any sexuality at all", suggesting asexuality, a few writers maintain that evidence can be found pointing to alleged homosexuality on Lawrence's part. Most scholars, including his official biographer, are sceptical of such claims.

Lawrence did not discuss his sexual orientation or practices but in a letter to a homosexual man, Lawrence wrote that he did not find homosexuality morally wrong, yet he did find it distasteful.[17] In the book T. E. Lawrence by His Friends, many of Lawrence's friends are adamant that he was not homosexual but simply had little interest in the topic of sex. Not one of them suspected him of homosexual inclinations. E.H.R. Altounyan, a close friend of Lawrence, wrote the following in T. E. Lawrence by His Friends:

"Women were to him persons, and as such to be appraised on their own merits. Preoccupation with sex is (except in the defective) due either to a sense of personal insufficiency and its resultant groping for fulfilment, or to a real sympathy with its biological purpose. Neither could hold much weight with him. He was justifiably self sufficient, and up to the time of his death no woman had convinced him of the necessity to secure his own succession. He was never married because he never happened to meet the right person; and nothing short of that would do[...]."

There is one clearly homoerotic passage in the Introduction, Chapter 2, of Seven Pillars of Wisdom: "quivering together in the yielding sand, with intimate hot limbs in supreme embrace."

The book is dedicated to "S.A." with a poem that begins:

"I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To gain you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,
that your eyes might be shining for me
When I came."[18]

The identity of "S.A." remains unclear; it has been argued that these initials identify a man, a woman, a nation, or some combination of the above. Lawrence himself maintained that "S.A." was a composite character.[citation needed] One specific claim is that S.A. is Selim Ahmed, also called Dahoum, a young Arab who worked with Lawrence at a pre-war archaeological dig at Carchemish, with whom Lawrence is said to have had a close relationship, and who apparently died of typhus in 1918.

In Seven Pillars, Lawrence claims that, while reconnoitering Deraa in Arab disguise, he was captured. Posing as a Circassian, he was beaten and raped.[19] Modern biographers have questioned whether the incident ever occurred: in part, because there are problems with the chronology of Lawrence's account, in part because his subsequent sex life revolved around male flagellation, and also, because the Ottoman commander whom he accuses of whipping and sodomising him went on to lead a blameless post-war life. Lawrence's own statements and actions concerning the incident have contributed to the confusion: he removed the page from his war diary which would have covered the November 1917 week in question.

Lawrence hired people to whip him, indicating that he had a taste for masochism.[20] Also, years after the Deraa incident, Lawrence embarked on a rigid programme of physical rehabilitation, including diet, exercise, and swimming in the North Sea. During this time he recruited men from the service and told them a story about a fictitious uncle who, because Lawrence had stolen money from him, demanded that he enlist in the service and that he be beaten. Lawrence wrote letters purporting to be from the uncle ("R." or "The Old Man") instructing the men in how he was to be beaten, yet also asking them to persuade him to stop this. This treatment continued until his death.[21]

Discussion about Lawrence's sexuality began with Richard Aldington's critical Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry (1955). Richard Meinertzhagen wrote in his Middle East Diary that upon meeting Lawrence, he asked himself, "Boy or girl?" – though historians widely consider this to have been added after the fact. The play Ross (1960) by Terence Rattigan, as well as the famous David Lean film Lawrence of Arabia, helped introduce the idea into popular culture.

[edit] Vision of Middle East

Lawrence's post-World War I vision of the Levant.

A map of the Middle East that belonged to Lawrence has been put on exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London. It was drafted by him and presented to Britain's War Cabinet in November 1918.

The map provides an alternative to present-day borders in the region, apparently partly designed with the intention to marginalise the post-war role of France in the region by limiting its direct colonial control to today's Lebanon. It includes a separate state for the Armenians and groups the people of present-day Syria, Jordan and parts of Saudi Arabia in another state, based on tribal patterns and commercial routes.

Redrawn map of Lawrence's post-World War I vision of the Levant.

[edit] Portrayals

[edit] Film and television

Lawrence was most famously portrayed by Peter O'Toole in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. Ralph Fiennes portrayed Lawrence in the 1990 made-for-TV movie A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia. Both O'Toole and Fiennes are much taller than the real Lawrence (who was 5 ft 5.5 in (1.66 m) tall): O'Toole stands 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) and Fiennes, 6 ft (1.83 m).

He was portrayed by Judson Scott in the 1982 TV series Voyagers!, and by Joseph A. Bennett and Douglas Henshall in the 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. In Young Indiana Jones, Lawrence is portrayed as being a life-long friend of the title character.

[edit] Theatre

  • Lawrence was also the subject of Terrence Rattigan's controversial play Ross, which explored Lawrence's alleged homosexuality. Ross ran in 1960-61, starring Alec Guinness, an admirer of Lawrence's. The play had originally been written as a screenplay, but the planned film was never made.
  • Alan Bennett's Forty Years On (1968) includes a satire on Lawrence; known as "Tee Hee Lawrence" because of his high-pitched, girlish giggle. "Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince ... he hoped to pass unnoticed through London. Alas he was mistaken." The section concludes with the headmaster confusing him with D. H. Lawrence.
  • The character of Private Napoleon Meek in George Bernard Shaw's 1931 play Too True to Be Good was inspired by Lawrence. Meek is depicted as thoroughly conversant with the language and lifestyle of tribals. He repeatedly enlists with the army, quitting whenever offered a promotion.
  • T. E. Lawrence’s first year back at Oxford after the Great War to write his Seven Pillars of Wisdom was portrayed by Tom Rooney in a play, The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion, written by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte (premiered Toronto 2006). The play explores Lawrence's political, physical and psychological reactions to war, and his friendship with poet Robert Graves. Urban Stages presented the American premiere in New York City in October 2007; Lawrence was portrayed by actor Dylan Chalfy.
  • Lawrence's final years are portrayed in a one-man show by Raymond Sargent, "The Warrior and the Poet."[22]

[edit] Video Games

  • Lawrence also featured in the game Shadow Hearts: Covenant as a British Spy investigating the secret society, Sapientes Gladio.

[edit] Other exploits

[edit] Military

  • The RAF Recruitment Office where Lawrence enlisted was run by Captain W. E. Johns, who was later to become the famous writer and creator of the Biggles character. He reported in his autobiography that Lawrence initially submitted false papers indicating that his name was Shaw, which resulted in his initial rejection. Within an hour Lawrence had returned to the office, with a directive from the War Office[dubious ] indicating that he was to be taken on, regardless of any discrepancy in his papers or medical condition. Johns accepted him, and sent a warning to the induction centre that a new recruit who had strong establishment influence, and who 'dined with Cabinet Ministers on his weekends' was arriving.
  • As recounted in Thomas' With Lawrence In Arabia, Lawrence, while on a pre-war archaeological trip to Mesopotamia, was attacked by an Arab bandit intent on stealing his gun, a Colt .45 Peacemaker. However, the man did not understand the revolver's firing mechanism, and was forced to leave Lawrence unconscious but alive. After this incident, Lawrence's preferred weapon was the Peacemaker, and he almost always carried one for good luck. Lawrence was also known to carry a Broomhandle Mauser, and later, a Colt M1911 semi-automatic.

[edit] Travel

  • Jordanian attempts to promote the Hejaz railway as a tourist attraction with a Lawrence Special running from Aqaba to Wadi Rum were derailed in September 2006 when a freight train ran off the track close to one of Lawrence's detonation points, causing similar damage to the permanent way.[citation needed]
  • A road in the Mount Batten area of Plymouth, where Lawrence was stationed, has been named Lawrence Road in his honour.

[edit] Other

  • Oxford legend[citation needed] holds that, while an undergraduate at Jesus College, Lawrence crept into the deer park of Magdalen at night and stole a deer; by the morning, he had managed to transfer the deer to the front quad of All Souls, which is normally off limits to undergraduates.
  • At the time Lawrence was going under the name Shaw, and signing himself, for example in the guest book at Philip Sassoon's Port Lympne estate, as "338171 A/C Shaw", Noel Coward in a letter to him asked "May I call you 338?"[23]

[edit] See also

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Lawrence's works

[edit] Secondary sources

[edit] References

  1. ^ London Gazette Issue 30222 published on the 7 August 1917. Page 1 of 4
  2. ^ London Gazette Issue 30681 published on the 10 May 1918. Page 2 of 16
  3. ^ London Gazette Issue 29600 published on the 30 May 1916. Page 5 of 84
  4. ^ London Gazette Issue 30638 published on the 16 April 1918. Page 2 of 4
  5. ^ His official birth record, according to his father's statement, lists August 15, 1888, as birth date (no time of birth). However, his mother stated he was born in the early hours of August 16, and according to extant documents it was on this date his birthday was celebrated.
  6. ^ T. E. Lawrence: family history, From Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia, The Authorised Biography, Appendix 1
  7. ^ "Brief history of the City of Oxford High School for Boys, George Street", 'University of Oxford Faculty of History website
  8. ^ T. E. Lawrence letters, 1927
  9. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20061018191000/http://www.pef.org.uk/Pages/WildZin.htm
  10. ^ Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Motorcycles, Editor: Erwin Tragatsch, Publisher: New Burlington Books, Copyright: 1979 Quarto Publishing, Edition: 1988 Revised, Page 95, ISBN 0-906286-07-7
  11. ^ Jonathan Evans, "The Winchester Manuscript"; Walter F. Oakeshott, "The Finding of the Manuscript," Essays on Malory, J. A. W. Bennett, ed. [Oxford: Clarendon, 1963: 1-6)]
  12. ^ Lawrence of Arabia, Sir Hugh Cairns, and the Origin of Motorcycle Helmets (accessed 2008-05-09)
  13. ^ Kerrigan, Michael (1998). Who Lies Where - A guide to famous graves. London: Fourth Estate Limited. p. 51. ISBN 1-85702-258-0. 
  14. ^ Author: T. E. Lawrence, Title: Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, 1922-1926, vol. 1, Editor: Jeremy and Nicole Wilson, Publisher: Castle Hill Press, Copyright: 2000, Foreword by Jeremy Wilson
  15. ^ Graves, Robert, Lawrence and the Arabs, ch. 30. Jonathan Cape: London, 1927
  16. ^ Doubleday,Doran &Co, New York,1936; rprnt Penguin,Harmondsworth,1984 ISBN 0140045058
  17. ^ The Letters of T. E. Lawrence.
  18. ^ Some editions of Seven Pillars give the last line of this stanza as "When we came." The 1922 Oxford text, however, has "When I came."
  19. ^ Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence, Book VI
  20. ^ John Edward Mack, A Prince of Our Disorder
  21. ^ Mack, 1976.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ London Review of Books, 7 August 2003, page 13

[edit] External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

NAME Lawrence, Thomas Edward
SHORT DESCRIPTION archaeologist, soldier, author
DATE OF BIRTH 1888-08-16
PLACE OF BIRTH Tremadog, Caernarfonshire, North Wales
DATE OF DEATH 1935-05-13
PLACE OF DEATH Bovington Camp, Dorset, England
Personal tools