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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Colonel C. E. Wilson


[Akaba]

2.9.17

Dear Colonel Wilson,

I should have answered your very kind note before, but I was busy about stores and things when the Southward ships were sailing. The Hejaz show is a quaint one, the like of which has hardly been on earth before, and no one not of it can appreciate how difficult it is to run. However it has gone forward, and history will call it a success: but I hope that the difficulties it has had to contend with will be equally clear. All my memories of it are pleasant (largely due to you, of course, for on the face things should not be so), and if ever I can get my book on it out, I'll try to make other people see it. They do not seem always to appreciate that while we hop about the Railway and places smashing things up, and enjoying ourselves, someone else has to sit and stew in Jidda keeping the head of the affair on the rails. You would be glad to hear sometimes how Feisul and the rest speak of you.

However, here is a request. The Sherif never approved of Jaafar's coming and has never been reconciled to it. Jaafar has done very good work, and has pulled the officers more or less together, and made himself recognised as the head of them. This is going to change the discipline and spirit of the whole force like magic, if he can get a few more officers. He's just gone to Egypt for this. Do you think you could get a letter from the Sherif to him, thanking him for his efforts, and saying something nice about their mutual hopes for the future? Jaafar is a little down in the mouth, and this letter would give him confidence.

I fancy it may not be as easy as it sounds to get the right letter from the Sherif - but if you could get a pleased moment or a tactful friend it might be done. A direct request would look a little odd.

I hope to go off towards Mudowwara in three days' time: have been held up for money.

Yours sincerely,

T. E. Lawrence

Source: DG 236-7
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 9 January 2006


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