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Who was 'Lawrence of Arabia'

Introductory biography

T. E. Lawrence as writer

Chronology of Lawrence's life




Memorials to Lawrence

Some quotations

T. E. Lawrence manuscripts

Books dedicated to Lawrence

Research and discussion

The state of T.E. Lawrence scholarship

Rejected legend

David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia


About this site

Cookies policy

References used on the site


Jeremy Wilson


Page updated May 2012

Outline chronology: 1888 - 1914

Youth |1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935


August 16

T. E. Lawrence ('Ned') born at Tremadoc, Caernarvonshire in Wales (see also family history.) He was his parents' second son. His elder brother Bob (M. R. Lawrence) had been born in Dublin, Ireland, on 27 December 1885.


The Lawrence family move to Kirkudbright in Scotland.

December 10

Will (W. G. Lawrence), the third Lawrence son, born at Kirkudbright. He would be the closest of the Lawrence brothers to T. E.


The Lawrence family move to the Chalet du Vallon in Dinard, Brittany, France.


Frank (F. H. Lawrence), the fourth Lawrence son, born. In order to avoid liability to French military service for boys born in France, the family had moved temporarily to St Helier in Jersey. Frank was given 'Helier' as a second name.


The Lawrence family move to Langley Lodge near Totton in Hampshire, close to the New Forest and Southampton Water. Lawrence and his brothers receive private tuition.


The Lawrence family move to 2 Polstead Road, Oxford, where there are good schools. T.E. Lawrence and his elder brother Bob enrol at the City of Oxford High School for Boys, a fee-paying day school.

1900, May

Arnold (A. W. Lawrence), the last of the Lawrence sons, is born.


Because of tension at home Lawrence runs away from home and serves for a few weeks as a boy soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery at St Mawes Castle, in Cornwall. He is bought out.

1906, summer

Lawrence sits the Senior Oxford Local Examinations, the examination for school-leavers aged 18. Unlike the modern British equivalent, which is very specialised, the exams cover a wide range of subjects. Lawrence is placed in the first class overall. Only 12 of the 4,675 candidates gain higher total marks. He shares first place in English Language and Literature, and third place in Religious Knowledge, gaining a distinction in these subjects.

In the summer holiday Lawrence goes on a cycling tour in Brittany, visiting medieval castles.

1907, October

Lawrence becomes an undergraduate at Jesus College, Oxford University, where he will study modern history. By virtue of his academic ability and birth in Wales he has been awarded a Meyricke Exhibition.

1908, summer

In the university long vacation Lawrence makes a cycling tour in France, visiting medieval castles.

1909, summer

In the university long vacation Lawrence visits Crusader castles in Palestine and Syria, travelling largely on foot. The object of the journey is to collect information about the castles for a thesis which he plans to submit as part of his final examinations for the BA degree.

1910, summer

Lawrence wins first class honours - the highest grade - in his Oxford BA degree, having submitted a notable thesis titled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture - to the end of the XIIth century (published after his death as Crusader Castles).

During the summer Lawrence decides to carry out postgraduate research at Oxford on medieval pottery, a subject that has long interested him. In the event, this project will never be fulfilled, because Lawrence will become a field archaeologist.


Lawrence sails for Beirut. He will study Arabic at Jebail as a preliminary to joining a trial season's excavations to be conducted by the British Museum at Carchemish, near Jerablus in northern Syria. This work will be unpaid, but he has been awarded a postgraduate research scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford.


March 11 to July 8.

Trial season's excavations at Carchemish, working under D. G. Hogarth and R. Campbell-Thompson.

July 12-28

Walking tour visiting castles (Lawrence's diary of this tour published after his death as The Diary of T. E. Lawrence, MCMXI).

August 12

Lawrence leaves Beirut for England.


The British Museum has decided to continue the Carchemish excavations. Lawrence leaves England for Jerablus to prepare for a second season.

1912, January

To gain experience of field archaeology, Lawrence works briefly at excavations led by Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar in Egypt. Afterwards he returns to Jerablus.

March - June

Second season's British Museum excavations at Carchemish, led by Leonard Woolley. Lawrence is mainly responsible for pottery and photography, but also plays an important role in managing the locally-recruited workforce. Lawrence remains in Syria and Lebanon during the summer.


Third season's British Museum excavations at Carchemish.


Lawrence and Woolley leave for England.


January 9

Lawrence leaves England for Jerablus to prepare for the new season's excavations.


Fourth season's British Museum excavations at Carchemish.


Lawrence leaves Jerablus for a brief visit to England, accompanied by two head-men from the excavations: Hamoudi and Dahoum.


Lawrence returns to the Middle East.

September-early December

Fifth season's British Museum excavations at Carchemish.



Woolley and Lawrence, under the auspices of the Palestine Exploration Fund, travel to the Sinai Peninsula to join a party of Royal Engineers commanded by Stewart Newcombe. Their role is to provide 'innocent' archaeological camouflage for a British military survey of a Turkish-controlled area. During this period Lawrence visits Akaba and Petra for the first time.


Woolley and Lawrence return to Jerablus.

22 March-May

Sixth season's British Museum excavations at Carchemish.

Late June

Lawrence returns to Oxford. He and Woolley prepare their archaeological report on the Sinai expedition, to be titled The Wilderness of Zin.

August 4

Outbreak of war.

For the remainder of 1914 see Lawrence in the First World War, 1914

Youth |1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935

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