Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Ernest Thurtle
More power to your elbow. The cowardice charge is a blot on us.
About helping you - as a serving airman I must not make
reflections upon military matters. Before I joined I could and did
say what I pleased. I cannot prevent your quoting what I then said: so your best tactics are to say 'As Colonel L. said some years ago' or something of the sort: do not ask my permission, because I cannot give it; and yet I would love to be taken advantage of, in this cause!
'Lawrence' is better publicity than 'Shaw'. It's quite a good quotation; rings true and likely: them's my sentiments exactly.
Sir Ian Hamilton might lend you a hand. He is an un-official general. I cannot think of anybody else likely to be useful. To have circulated a petition at that V.C. dinner some months ago, and got them all to have signed it, would have been the right thing.
'Courage and chivalry' attached to me! Do you remember how lately I was burned in effigy on Tower Hill: you must be careful, or they will burn you too. Now if the Die-hards had burned me I should only have laughed.
This is written in a hurry, between duties, so excuse its
scrappiness. I'll write to you again soon. Life is smooth, and not
T E Shaw
|Last revised:||31 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