7 May 1917

On May 6, a new recovery crew, led by Capt Henderson, drove out
in a Crossley tender and Model-T Ford car to salvage the wreck of Capt Stent’s aeroplane that had crashed on May 1. Unable to cope with the sandy terrain, the Model-T Ford car would have to be towed for much of the way, before being abandoned early on the second day. Shortly after, an aeroplane landed near the party, and Lawrence flew back with the pilot to Wejh. Later in the day, his pocket diary recorded a meeting in Wejh with Sir Mark Sykes, who had been in the Hejaz to speak to Sherif Hussein and Feisal.

It would take the recovery party another three days to find the wrecked aeroplane and tow it back to Wejh, returning on 10 May.

In an account of this trip written many years later, Henderson gave an interesting insight into working alongside Lawrence in the desert.

“He always looked upon these jobs as a sort of picnic and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself. He was a most economical companion, needing very little water for his personal requirements; no matter how badly we prepared our food, he relished it. In the Wadi Hamdh, when the progress of our car was reduced to about one mile per hour on account of thick thorn bushes and large boulders, and in a very unpleasantly hot temperature – we measured it once, 131o in shade – his temper remained imperturbable as ever. He had a marvellous reserve of energy and seemed to show little sign of tiredness after a hard day’s trekking which included digging out the car from soft sand.”

(Memoir of Capt T. Henderson in T. E. Lawrence By His Friends edited by A. W. Lawrence.)