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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his mother


In case my last letter did not get through:- a very probable occasion in these times:- I'll repeat my new address

338171 A C 2 Shaw
Room 2. E.R.S.
R.A.F. Depot
Drigh Road

E.R.S. stands for Engine Repair Section. To it all the aeroplane engines in India come for their periodic overhauls. I'm not a technical hand of course, so all I do is to walk about and do a perambulating clerkly job. We work too short hours each day, and are bored with an excessive leisure. The camp is comfortable: new, stone-built, cool and spacious. The surroundings are unmitigated desert - great wastes of sand, between sandstone ridges, on which grows nothing but cactus: and not much cactus. Wide valleys of dusty tamarisk wind across this Sind desert, to fall at long last into the Indus, which reaches the sea near Karachi.

Karachi, the town, I have not visited. As a seaport it cannot hold very many attractions: and it is a little Aldershot-like, in having a considerable military garrison. So my leisure is mostly round about the camp, an uninteresting country which scarcely repays one the trouble of walking in it. As time passes I will get here some books to busy myself over in spare hours. After that I'll be independent of India, so far as amusements go.

The time to leave Paoning is while the local people still want you to stay. I'm hoping every day to hear of your safe return. However it is no use talking these things over again. The difference of opinion is too fundamental.

My big book is now all distributed. The Cape abridgement appears in March. Financially I have done well: and all my liabilities at my Bank are now safely covered. Any surplus there may be will be paid to a R.A.F. charity.

The pictures are now being exhibited in London, with a very excellent preface to the catalogue by Bernard Shaw. I will send you a copy, after I hear from you again.


Source: HL 364-5
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 12 February 2006

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