Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to his family
I got a letter yesterday asking for more details of what I am doing. Well, drawing, and overseeing the drawing of maps: overseeing printing and packing of same: sitting in an office coding and decoding telegrams, interviewing prisoners, writing reports, and giving information from 9a.m. till 7p.m. After that feed and read, and then go to bed. I'm sick of pens, ink and paper: and have no wish ever to send off another telegram. We do daily wires to Athens, Gallipoli, and Petrograd: and receive five times what we send, all in cypher, which is slow work, though we have a good staff dealing with them. Newcombe, one Macdonnell and myself are Intelligence, Captain Cosens, Lord Anglesey, Lord Hartington and Prince Alexander of Battenburg do the ciphering and deciphering with us: that's all we are:- with a Colonel Clayton who does Egyptian Foreign Politics in command of us.
We do no internal work: have nothing to do with Egyptians, or police or anything of that sort. That's all done by the Ministry of the Interior. We have only war work:- European Turkey, Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Sinai, and Tripoli:- we all dabble in them all. One learns a lot of geography, some people's names, and little else.
The Dardanelles show is looking up a little. If they please it will not take much longer now. But it's a great question what their intentions are. I'm dreading the end of it, as no one can guess what will happen afterwards. No news from Syria: the country is quite at peace.
Hope Bob gets through.
|Last revised:||1 January 2006|
T. E. Lawrence chronology
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