Research and discussion
Page updated May 2012
Outline chronology of T. E. Lawrence's life
Lawrences early life, from his birth to the outbreak of the Great War
From the outbreak of the Great War to the capture of Damascus, covering the politics of the Middle East before the Arab Revolt, and Lawrences activities during the Revolt itself. Includes detailed chronologies for 1917 and 1918 based on Lawrence's field diaries.
The Paris Peace Conference, The Cairo Conference, visits to the new Arab states, enlistment
- 1918 Returns to London, argues the Arab case with the British Government.
- 1919 Attends the Paris Peace Conference, begins drafting Seven Pillars, visits Cairo, takes up an All Souls fellowship; Lowell Thomas lectures in London; the first draft of Seven Pillars is stolen when almost complete.
- 1920 Hurriedly rewrites Seven Pillars, begins a political campaign against the Middle East settlement, begins but then abandons a popular abridgement of Seven Pillars for publication in the US; begins work on a corrected and polished third draft of the full text.
- 1921 Joins the Colonial Office under Winston Churchill as adviser on Arab Affairs; orchestrates the Cairo Conference; assists Churchill with a settlement in TransJordan, attempts to negotiate a treaty with the Hedjaz.
- 1922 Leaves the Colonial Office, completes Seven Pillars and has eight proof-copies printed; begins to circulate the book in this form to critics; accepts a proposal for a popular abridgement; enlists in the RAF as 'J. H. Ross' and is posted for basic training to the recruits' depot at Uxbridge, and thence to the School of Photography at Farnborough; his secret enlistment is revealed in the press.
Lawrence in the RAF and Tank Corps. From his enlistment until his death in 1935
1924 Tank Corps, begins work on the revised abridgement of Seven Pillars
1925 Tank Corps, then transferred to the RAF at Cranwell
1926 Cranwell, completes the subscribers' Seven Pillars, drafts a popular abridgement (Revolt in the Desert)
1927 India, Revolt in the Desert published, begins work on The Mint
1928 completes The Mint, begins work on an Odyssey translation
1931 Plymouth, begins work on high-speed boats for the RAF
1932 Plymouth, Odyssey translation published
1933 Plymouth then Felixstowe
1935 Retires from the RAF, fatal motor-cycle accident
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