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Biography pages:

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

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The state of T.E. Lawrence scholarship

Rejected legend

David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia


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Jeremy Wilson


Page updated June 2012

Royal Air Force file AIR 1/2698
338171 Shaw, Thomas Edward

File opened 18 August 1925

National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), London

Note: In addition to the content specifically noted below, this file also contains documents and Minute sheets relating to:

  • Forwarding various letters addressed to Lawrence.
  • The transfer of Lawrence's service papers between stations. 
  • Other minor administrative matters including official queries about details of Lawrence's RAF service.
1927: Address enquiry from John Bruce 
1927 March 15
Letter from John Bruce to OC RAF Cadet College Cranwell and reply, dated 29 March 1927.
Bruce requests Lawrence's new address 'as it is important I should know, being an old friend'. 
The reply, from RAF Records, gives Lawrence's address in Karachi
1928: Extension of period of enlistment to 12 years
1928 December 19
RAF Form 1364 and related documents
Approval for Lawrence to extend his service to 12 years, calculated from 12 March 1923.
1933: Discharge application and transfer
1933 April
Documents relating to Lawrence's application for discharge from the RAF and subsequent posting to M.A.E.E. Felixstowe. See also Minute sheets, items 4-7
Lawrence's application for discharge was dated 6.3.1933.
No objection was raised on the grounds of manning levels, because of a surplus at that time.
Lawrence reported to MAEE Felixstowe in the afternoon of 28.4.1933
Forms relating to pay, taxation and pension entitlement
1931 March
Income Tax assessors
Query and reply concerning Lawrence's RAF earnings from 1.4.1927 to 31.3.1931
Pay 1.4.27 to 30.9.27 was 3/3d per day
Pay 1.10.27 to 30.9.30 was 3/7d per day
Pay 1.10.30 to 11.3.31 was 3/11d per day
Pay 12.3.31 to 31.3.21 was 4/2d per day
1933 November
Income Tax assessors
Query and reply concerning Lawrence's RAF earnings from 1.4.1931 to date (replied 11.11.1933) - various related documents.
Pay 1.4.31 to 30.9.31 was 4/2d per day
Pay 1.10.31 to 11.11.33 was 3/10d per day. 

[Note: service pay was reduced as a result of the economic crisis in Britain in 1931]

1936 November 26
Income Tax Assessors
Query and reply concerning Lawrence's RAF movements and earnings from 1.4.1933 until his discharge or death. 
1.4.33 to 23.4.33 S.H.Q. Mount Batten
24.4.33 to 11.3.35 M.A.E.E. [Felixstowe]

Pay 1.3.33 to 30.6.34 3/10d per day
Pay 1.7.34 to 11.3.35 4/- per day

1935 11 March
Query from Air Ministry relating to Lawrence's address after discharge, because there is a balance of £32.17.5 owed to him. Reply gives Lawrence's address on leaving.  


The forwarding address Lawrence gave on  1.3.1935 was 35 Acacia Avenue, Tarporley, Cheshire. An instruction received on 8.3.35 added that if letters were returned from that address marked 'Gone away', they should be forwarded to Sgt. A. Robinson at MAEE Felixstowe.  
1935 March 13
Form setting out Lawrence's pension entitlement.
Relates only to12 years' service in the ranks from 12.3.23 to 11.3.35.
1934: Form relating to future civilian employment after discharge
1934 December 6
Ministry of Labour: Registration of ex-regular airmen of the Royal Air Force for civil employment.
4-page form giving basic details of Lawrence's RAF service and qualifications. 
Another copy
See also Minute sheet items 10-13.
Marked: "Not to be forwarded to Ministry of Labour" 21.12.34. 
The form was not sent because Lawrence had given no address for his location after leaving the RAF..

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