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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Ernest Thurtle

Mount Batten,


Dear 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

Source: DG 684-5
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 31 January 2006

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