Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to H. R. Hadley
All Souls College,
2 Sept. 1920
It's very pleasant hearing from you, and of course I'll send you a photo. I can't do it today, because I haven’t got one in stock... but I'll look for one tomorrow. They were mostly done by that wild American, Lowell Thomas, who came to Akaba and took us all, and he never gave me copies. However as I looked a perfect idiot in most of those he published, there probably isn't much lost.
I remember your name, because Marshall used to talk of you. I can't fit it with a face at present, but then I'm very bad at faces; indeed I always was, and my family also. My father one day stepped on my toe in the street, and apologised and went on without knowing who it was!
It's Tell el Shahm... you've lost an h in writing it down: and it means the hill of fat.
I'm glad you found Arabia interesting. It was of course most interesting for me, because I understood all the Arab side of it: I often used to wonder whether you were not having a very dull time of it. I used to be up country on stunts nearly always, and many of you had to live in the dust and heat and flies of Akaba.
You mention a diary... did you keep a full one, or did any of the other fellows? I was too busy, or too lazy to write down what happened properly, and none of the other officers wrote anything much. I wish there was a proper account of it for publication.
Marshall is, I think, in Khartoum. He was at Jidda, the port of Mecca, in the Red Sea for some time after the armistice, and then he went to the Sudan. I haven't seen any of the others for some time.
I wonder if you were of the Mudowwarah party which at last took the place? We had four boss shots at it, and took it the fifth try, when the I.C.C. came along and rushed it in the dark. Marshall was there, for the second, fourth and fifth tries.
I enclose a couple of prints of that time, copies of some which Colonel Buxton who commanded the camels sent me. I have quite a good set of photos of the war (that is of our little bit of it) which I have collected from various people.
I wish we could meet some time: Goslett is keeping all the addresses of the people as far as he can, and some day if we can manage it we'll have a dinner together somewhere.
I'll get you that photo in the next week or so, as soon as it can
T E Lawrence
By the way, I'm not a Colonel now: just Mr. like yourself: if you have time write again and tell me what you are at, and if you ever see any others of us.
|Last revised:||22 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