18 January 1917

“… two horsemen came cantering across from the left to greet Feisal. I knew the first one, dirty old blear-eyed Mohammed Ali el Beidawi, Emir of the Juheina: but the second looked strange. When he came nearer I saw he was in khaki uniform, with a cloak to cover it and a silk head-cloth and head-rope, much awry. He looked up, and there was Newcombe’s red and peeling face, with straining eyes and vehement mouth, a strong, humorous grin between the jaws. He had arrived at Um Lejj this morning, and hearing we were only just off, had seized Sheikh Yu-suf’s fastest horse and galloped after us.

“I offered him my spare camel and an introduction to Feisal, whom he greeted like an old school-friend; and at once they plunged into the midst of things, suggesting, debating, planning at lightning speed. Newcombe’s initial velocity was enormous, and the freshness of the day and the life and happiness of the Army gave inspiration to the march and brought the future bubbling out of us without pain.”

Events of 18 January 1917 as recounted by T. E. Lawrence in Seven
Pillars of Wisdom

As Feisal’s army neared Umm Lejj – the halfway point to Wejh – Lawrence got word that Newcombe would meet him there in the next few days, and sailed north from Yenbo in the ship Suva.

A few days later, when Feisal’s army left Umm Lejj on the next stage of its march to Wejh, Newcombe had still not arrived, and Lawrence decided to accompany the Arabs.

A short way into the march, Newcombe caught up with the army on horseback. It seemed that Lawrence’s temporary role as liaison officer to Feisal was about to end.