24 September 1916

“The affairs of the Sherif are looking better, with the fall of Taif. He has captured there all the civil and military officials of the Mecca province, for they all used to spend the summer there, on the hill-tops in the gardens. If I leave G.H.Q. Egypt, which I have hinted several times lately, it will be to join the Arab Bureau, which is doing all the work of the Sherif’s revolt …”

T. E. Lawrence to his family (The Home Letters of T. E. Lawrence and His Brothers, edited by M. R. Lawrence, published by Blackwell, 1954).

The capture of Taif in late September was a boost to morale after
a stuttering start to the Arab campaign. In Cairo, there was
disappointment for Lawrence when inter-departmental antagonism threw his transfer to the Arab Bureau into doubt. “I took to stratagems,” he later wrote in Seven Pillars of Wisdom of his attempt to
become “quite intolerable” to Intelligence GHQ in Ismailia in the hope they would let him go. There was not much longer to wait.