Around 20 people joined us at the cemetery, where
Society vice-chairman Alan Payne read a number of
quotations, by Lawrence and by his friends, including Winston Churchill’s famous tribute:
“I deem him one of the greatest beings alive in our time. I do not see his like elsewhere. I fear whatever our need we shall never see his like again. King George V wrote to his brother, ‘His name will live in history’. That is true. It will live in English letters; it will live in the annals of war; it will live in the traditions of the Royal Air Force, and in the legends of Arabia.”
Thanks to an enduring gift from an anonymous American benefactor, significant dates in Lawrence’s life – his birth on 16 August 1888, his death on 19 May 1935 and the taking of Damascus on 1 October 1918 – will henceforth be marked by the Society laying flowers on his grave. The Society is very grateful for this gift which will ensure that Lawrence’s great legacy continues to be remembered.
Lawrence Week at Clouds Hill
Following the success of the inaugural Lawrence Week at Clouds Hill in 2015, the National Trust held a second event this year,
marking the centenary of the Arab Revolt, and also celebrating Lawrence’s many journeys, with a series of talks, readings and a
cycle trail around Dorset.
Society members were pleased once again to be able to play a leading role during the week; with Theresa Jenkins-Teague – also a Clouds Hill volunteer and a distant relation of Lawrence – even
arranging for an authentic Bedouin tent to be shipped across from Jordan and erected outside the cottage.
Highlight of the week, however, must surely have been the homecoming of UL 656 – Lawrence’s penultimate Brough Superior motorcycle, known affectionately as George VI – which for the first time in decades appeared outside Clouds Hill cottage, following its recent restoration by a master restorer. Around 12 other Brough Superior motorcycles were also on display.
Thanks must go to Alan Payne, of the T. E. Lawrence Society and Brough Superior Club, and Bob Burden, of the Brough Superior Club, for organising this tremendous event.
Lawrence Week was also celebrated at Wareham Library, where an open day gave enthusiasts a chance to browse through some of the diverse material in its T. E. Lawrence Collection. Donated partly by the Society, its collection of books, press cuttings and other Lawrence-related material has grown in recent months with a number of gifts and bequests, and is now almost fully catalogued.
Meanwhile, at Dorset County Museum, a new play written by Clouds Hill volunteer Andy Munro – Lawrence of Wessex – pulled in a sell-out crowd on two nights.