Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith
This is not a letter, but a line, to say that everybody is glad the operation went well. We got messages about it to-day from Coastal Area.
It was as well that Biffy did not come. The afternoon has been stormy, like all the recent days, and now it is going to rain again.
The Biscuit sits in the shed; the engine is finished (not very satisfactory. She will not be much faster than she was: but she should last a long time. I hope we have cured the oil leaks and the water-leak. There is so much rough workmanship in her) but not installed and I will wait for the new coupling. Then she can be lined up properly and will do for a long autumn of running, let's hope.
The camp is quiet and we have not been troubled: only the bad weather and all the work on the boat and the general feeling of something wrong makes things dull. The dogs walk about happily with the Adjutant and visit here almost every day. Here is the office.
The Admiral sent the news on yesterday afternoon to Squeak. He flew to Falmouth that afternoon in the Iris.
Do not take Graves' book as very true! It is quite superficial really. It would be hard, in writing of a little-known but reputed figure not to dramatise one's subject a bit.
They used to call me T.E.L. Then I threw away the L. They were not certain that it would remain S. So it became just TE, for safety's sake.
|Last revised:||1 July 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