Research and discussion
Page updated May 2012
Outline chronology: 1916
Russia begins to advance on the Caucasus front. Lawrence sends information about disaffected Arab officers in the Turkish forces defending Erzerum, and by doing so may have played a small part in the fall of the city.
Lawrence is awarded the French Lgion d'Honneur for his work in the Cairo Intelligence office.
March 20-May 26
Lawrence and Aubrey Herbert are sent on a secret British mission to the Turkish Headquarters outside Kut in Mesopotamia, in an attempt to buy the release of Townshend's army. However, no attempt to save the beleaguered force succeeds, and Townshend is forced to surrender. Lawrence's secondary purpose during this journey to Iraq is to assess the potential for an Arab rebellion there.
Sherif Hussein of Mecca starts the Arab Revolt.
Lawrence produces the first 'Arab Bureau Summary', soon to be renamed the Arab Bulletin.
General Sir Archibald Murray, the British commander in Egypt, requests topographical information about Akaba, with a view to a possible landing there. Lawrence rejects the scheme outright, arguing that the operation would be extremely costly. The real objective of such an attack would be the route inland from Akaba to Maan, but the mountain passes provide the Turks with exceptionally strong defensive positions.
Lawrence proposes a set of postage stamps as a propaganda vehicle for Hussein's new Arab Government in the Hedjaz. The first stamps, designed along lines suggested by Lawrence and Storrs, go into use in October.
October 12-November 11
Lawrence, while nominally on leave, performs his first Intelligence mission to the Hejaz on behalf of the Arab Bureau. He meets Sherif Hussein's four sons, Ali, Feisal, Abdullah, and Zeid, and concludes that Feisal is the most likely to succeed as a rebel leader in the field.
November 25 1916 - February 1917
Lawrence returns to the Hejaz as temporary liaison officer with the force commanded by Feisal.
T.E. Lawrence 1888-1935
1888 16 August: born at Tremadoc, Wales
1896-1907: City of Oxford High School for Boys
1907-9: Jesus College, Oxford, B.A., 1st Class Hons, 1909
1910-14: Magdalen College, Oxford (Senior Demy), while working at the British Museum's excavations at Carchemish
1915-16: Military Intelligence Dept, Cairo
1916-18: Liaison Officer with the Arab Revolt
1919: Attended the Paris Peace Conference
1919-22: wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1921-2: Adviser on Arab Affairs to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office
1922 August: Enlisted in the Ranks of the RAF
1923 January: discharged from the RAF
1923 March: enlisted in the Tank Corps
1923: translated a French novel, The Forest Giant
1924-6: prepared the subscribers' abridgement of Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927-8: stationed at Karachi, then Miranshah
1927 March: Revolt in the Desert, an abridgement of Seven Pillars, published
1928: completed The Mint, began translating Homer's Odyssey
1929-33: stationed at Plymouth
1931: started working on RAF boats
1932: his translation of the Odyssey published
1933-5: attached to MAEE, Felixstowe
1935 February: retired from the RAF
1935 19 May: died from injuries received in a motor-cycle crash on 13 May
1935 21 May: buried at Moreton, Dorset