Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to S. F. Newcombe
15. X. 22
I've behaved scummishly, I'm afraid: and in reparation had better tell you plainly that I've enlisted (under another name, of course) and so can no longer control my own times or movements. Otherwise I'd have liked very much to have come down to Devonport for a while.
It's a plan in my mind since 1919, but first my book on Arabia, and then Winston delayed me, till I was almost too old. However my health is bucking up, and I hope to come through the training period intact. The reasons why, and the purpose of it, may keep till it's all over. As you may imagine the contrast is keen enough to give me a very lively pleasure.
The world doesn't know of me now: and God forbid that the Press should. Only three people have both my old and my new name, and I don't propose to enlarge that circle. So if you need me for anything, please write as before to Barton Street, and it will reach me in a seven-day course or so - while I am in England: and I don't suppose we will be sent abroad till next trooping season.
I want Boyle's portrait very much: but now it's not possible for me to put it through. Will you ask him whether he'd sit? If in London he'd spare one sitting (of two hours) to Kennington, then the job would be over. Roberts takes time, and I don't suppose Boyle in London could manage more than a day.
I'm writing to Kennington with this, and warning him that Boyle may fix a time, and that if he possibly can, he's to be free and draw him when and where fixed. Kennington is rather run after, so it's not certain. His address is, Eric Kennington Esq.,
1 Riverside, Chiswick Mall, London.
I'd most like Boyle to write to him direct. Don't tell Boyle (or anyone) where I am (you don't know) but say that I can't arrange it, and that Kennington knows and will do his best to be satisfactory.
More apologies; and best regards to the family.
|Last revised:||18 February 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