Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith
I hope you have guessed that I have been here, and up to my eyes and ears in it.
Got to Plymouth from you on Tuesday. On Wednesday at noon left for Hythe, where we have been (Cpl. Bradbury and I) for nearly three weeks. I think the dinghy engine we are testing is the real thing. It has done 70 hours without a blemish, ticks over like a watch, and does 22 m.p.h. full out. Some dinghy! We loaded it with a ton of iron ballast, and drove it across to Southampton and back, like that!
Another week or less should see us back in Plymouth. I came by Brough and hope to call in at my cottage (still inhabited, alas) on the way back, if there is time. It is a pity that these tests are always such a rush.
Good to hear that you and he and it (apologies to the Squawk) are better. I am fool-proof and waterproof, I fancy. At least I have been wet for a fortnight, and going strong.
About your carpet that went astray. I could not clear that up the night I spent at Batten : but I got Acland and Winen on to it. They remember it being stencilled with an address (not Manston) in stores, and sent back to the house. It was not left there after you went, and is not there now. I asked them to find out from Price if it was despatched by rail by him.
The mistake of your address (S. of T.T.) was the wooden-headed Post-Corporal's.
About that other move. I cannot help about it. I have never asked for a change, except for reasons that were unselfish, and cannot begin to plead for favours. That would be against my grain. You must see that as I do. If I got to Manston on those terms it would not feel nice. Service life is all making and losing friends, a wandering. I shall not dispose of myself and grow fixed till 1935. Only this is 1932, almost. It grows fearfully near.
Please regard me to S. and s. and give poor Leo two rations of coffee sugar. Tell him I shall see him next year - which is not long.
|Last revised:||2 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