Research and discussion
Page updated May 2012
Outline chronology: 1918 (Oct-Dec)
For the earlier months of 1918 see Lawrence in the First World War, 1918
Lawrence leaves Egypt for England on 15 October. He takes the SS Kaiser-i-Hind from Port Said to Taranto, and travels from there to Le Havre by train, in three days. He arrives in England around 24 October, having been absent since autumn 1914. He goes to his family home in Oxford.
On 28 October, Lawrence begins meeting various Government officials in an attempt to overturn the SykesPicot Agreement. He argues that the Arabs had remained Allies even when an agreement with the Turks had been possible in 1917. On the same day, George Macdonogh of the War Office circulates a memorandum 'Note on Policy in the Middle East' which incorporates many of Lawrence's ideas. On 29 October Lawrence addresses the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet.
On 30 October Lawrence has a private audience with King George V, during which he refuses all honours for his part in the Arab Revolt.
At a meeting of the Eastern Committee on 21 November it is decided to invite Emir Feisal to the Paris Peace Conference. Feisal arrives in France on 26 November, where he is met by Lawrence. However, the French refuse to recognise the prince as a diplomat and send him as a distinguished visitor on a long tour of the French provinces. Lawrence travels with the party as far as Lyons, then on 29 November leaves, reaching England on 2 December.
There is a major development in British policy early in the month. Lloyd George and Clemenceau talk privately on 1 December and reach a 'gentleman's agreement' about the future of the Middle East, under which England will take the Mandate for Palestine, and France the Mandate for inland Syria. On 5 December the Eastern Committee of the cabinet tells Lawrence that it will not attempt to overturn the SykesPicot Agreement. He is left with the hope that the U.S.A. will demand the scrapping of all pre-war secret treaties. On 7 December Lawrence travels to Paris to bring Feisal to England; they arrive three days later in London. They have meetings with Balfour, King George V, and the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, before heading north to visit Edinburgh and Glasgow.
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