Updated June 2012
T. E. Lawrence to Air Commodore Sydney Smith
Excellent: this letter is addressed to the Air Commodore. I wish I could see the blue plumes nodding down the main roads of Singapore.
The sands run out, continually. Another six weeks and the R.A.F. loses its smallest ornament. Meanwhile I work away at the boats, and find myself everlastingly putting up suggestions for new devices or improvements. I forget I'm going out, whenever there is anything to do.
When the Junior Air Commodore becomes the Senior Air Marshal, I hope he will allow me to whisper into his civil ear half a hundred things that need doing. The Force will be ripe for reformation, then.
I am so glad you have reached Air Rank. It is almost the top of the tree. Next letter of congratulation will hail Sir S. and Lady Smith, upon their joint transfigurement.
Finances, allowances, everything will now be easier? and commodoring is usually only a brief act before the baton comes.
Excellent as I first said. Excellent.
A sad week, this: The Biscuit, of tender memory, has journeyed to Felixstowe. Her new owner is F/Lt. Barlow. I hope he will be kind to her. She ran like a race-horse last time I drove her, in November. Leaving here is a preliminary training for the wrench next month when I lose the Service too. A bad year, 1935, for me. I hope it will go on being fine for you, at any rate.
|Last revised:||4 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