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Research & Discussion

General biography

Rejected legend

Youth 1888-1914

War service 1914-1918

Diplomacy 1918-1922

Service years 1922-1935

Lawrence's personality

Writings and criticism

Lawrence and book production

Film, TV, radio

Book reviews

Bibliography & Collecting


Discussion list


Snapshots of Drigh Road

RAF Depot, Karachi, now PAF Base Faisal

With the exception of the photograph of Lawrence at the bottom of the page, these snapshots come from a small album. The originals are faded and not good quality. However, they show something of the base. They were probably taken before Lawrence arrived in January 1927.

The photographs in the album were evidently taken with a cheap camera and have low resolution. However, you can click on the thumbnails below to see them enlarged in a new window.

Camels on Drigh Road airfield

'The Depot is dreary, to a degree, and its background makes me shiver. It is a desert, very like Arabia: and all sorts of haunting likenesses (pack-donkeys, the colour and cut of men's clothes, an oleander bush in flower in the valley, camel-saddles, tamarisk) try to remind me of what I've been for eight years desperately fighting out of my mind. Even I began to doubt if the coming out here was wise. However there wasn't much chance, and it must be made to do. It will do, as a matter of fact, easily.'

Source of quotation: T.E. Lawrence to Charlotte Shaw 28 January 1927, Letters II p.12

Building work on the RAF Depot - c.1922-3?
RAF Depot, Drigh Road, Karachi
Animals on the airfield RAF Depot, Drigh Road, Karachi

'My walks, as I said, are only over the aerodrome, a mile-square flat place, (just faintly tinted green, with colocynth runners now over the sand) between the main railway and a dry, four-mile wide valley, of sand-ridges overgrown with dust-coloured tamarisk. At the end of the aerodrome is a stony bank, perhaps twenty feet high, on which I sit beside a cactus, and look back at the camp, from here rather like a broken Roman aqueduct, with its rows of dark arches on two stories, and a flat roof of loricated Marseilles tiles above. North of the railway is a mass of building, married quarters, officers houses, mess, and hospital. Unattractive, since it has no plan, no raison dtre or focus, like a grown village. This has been deliberately planned, and fails to justify its creator.'

Source of quotation: T.E. Lawrence to Charlotte Shaw 16 March 1927, Letters II p.43

Sand-yachting in the Sind desert
Lawrence at Karachi
unidentified photographer
Source: Robert Graves, Lawrence and the Arabs (London, Jonathan Cape, 1927) plate facing p.48.

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