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.
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.
|Last revised:||12 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