Updated June 2012
Letter from Sherif Feisal to Sherif Ali
Arab Bulletin No. 8, 8 November 1916; SD 11-12
Hegga 28, 1334
My lord and master, Ali Bey,
After kissing your noble feet, I
acknowledge receipt of your noble order, sent with Abd el-Aziz Yadi. Its
intimations were understood, and especially what you have mentioned
about your marching, because I want to know seriously. I beg you to be
very careful, because it is quite evident that if the movement should
not be in combination, then the result will not be good. Therefore, I
beg that you should make all possible arrangements concerning your
movements; otherwise you had better not start from Rabegh unless my
Lord, Abdullah, starts from Mecca, and he should start four or five days
before you start. When he arrives at E1-Hijrieh, you can march; and you
must divide your forces into two; the smaller part of the two, say about
300 or 400 dromedary men, under the command of one of the family, should
go to El-Milaf, where Ahmed Ibn Mansur is, and there he will have all
Sobh, Zebeid, Beni Yum, and Beni Mohammed with him, and will defend the
place (El-Milaf), and Beni Salem will follow those in El-Sidada, as I
told them. The second division, which is the general force, must march
as soon as possible towards the Fari road and camp at Mijaz, and cut the
communication of the line of the enemy at El-Ghayir to threaten Medina;
and I myself am going north to cut the railway line and besiege Medina,
by the will of God. I am waiting your reply to Bir Said, and you must
1. About the number of your forces.
2. About the number of Abdullah's forces.
3. About the time of Abdullah's start, and with how many men.
4. About the day of your start.
I shall advance before you in order to attract the attention of the Turks, so that it will be easy for you to advance.
There is another idea which is that you may attract their (Turks') attention towards yourself, and may wait for two or three days, and then I will advance quickly to destroy the line. I am awaiting your reply and information. At any rate, one of the members of the family, either Zeid or Sharaf, must be sent to El-Milaf. Were it not for the movement of Juheina, I would have gone there myself. God willing, my stay will be at Buat or El-Jafr. Jam awaiting your immediate orders, My lord.
Note: This is Lawrence's English version of a letter he drafted with Feisal. See 'Extracts from a diary of a journey' for the historical context.
|Last revised:||6 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