Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to S. C. Rolls
8th April 1931
You will have been calling me every kind of a skug, for not answering - and I have been doing the service test of a new R.A.F. fast motor boat, and no letters were sent on.
It is exceedingly good of you to have written. I've wondered often where you were, and Goslett has made faint efforts to find you. Once we thought of having some sort of a meeting in London to feed each other: only everybody is scattered or lost. I hardly see anyone now, except Colonel Alan Dawnay, who looks me up sometimes. It was a long time ago, that was, wasn't it?
In the last two years since I came back from India I've been twice through Northampton and I'll try and see you this summer during my leave. I always look in at Nottingham on the chap who makes my motor-bike, and that's your way. I'm like you - not fond of writing letters.
I'm glad that life hasn't broken you. I'm cheerful but generally shortish on a Thursday. This Air Force life is full of incidents and it keeps me busy and happy. One cannot expect good pay for happiness.
You are probably married and have eleven children: if so I think it's a bit more than I'd like.
Gosh: you wrote me four pages. I honestly can't: but if ever I get to your place I'll talk for four hours. It will be queer to see you without about three days beard on each of our faces. We were a scruffy sort of crew: but we did quite a lot of damage to our enemies.
T. E. Shaw
'Shaw' it is, always now, and no Mr. about it please. That colonel
touch is dead and buried.
|Last revised:||3 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