Journal Volume XXV to Volume 29

Below is a summary of the contents of Vol. XXV, No. 1 of the Journal, which was published in Spring 2016, to Vol 29, No.2, which was published in June 2020.

More detailed descriptions of all Journal articles from Vol. I, No. 1 to the present day can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking HERE.

Additionally, the contents of Journals Vol. I, No. 1 to Vol. XXIV, No. 2 arranged by subject matter can be downloaded in the form of a ROUGH GUIDE compiled by former Society chairman Nick Lynch.

Vol. XXV, No. 1, Spring 2016

Christophe Leclerc: T. E. Lawrence and Édouard Brémond: Two Views of the Middle East, Two Experiences of the Guerrilla

This is a translation of a talk given at the Symposium of the Institute d’Edutes Avancée in Paris in May 2015. It was inevitable that there was going to be a clash between T. E. Lawrence and France’s Colonel Brémond. Brémond was captive to the orthodox thinking that he should seek to destroy enemy forces in a decisive battle. This was in marked contrast to Lawrence who sought to avoid battles. Essentially, Brémond was baffled by Lawrence, and particularly by why he wore Arab clothes, and regarded him as an eccentric.


Adam Gotch: The Lecture League

This article by Adam Gotch follows his presentation to the 2014 Symposium. Following service in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Adam’s grandfather, Laurence Gotch, returned to England in 1919 and with help from T. E. Lawrence embarked on a series of lectures under the auspices of a lecture agency entitled The Lecture League. In telling his grandfather’s story, Adam Gotch draws on a unique collection of material owned by his grandfather, including unpublished letters and maps, among them a sketch map showing Lawrence’s northern journey as a diversion from the attack on Akaba.


Lisa Climie: Shadow Man – Part Two

Part One of Lisa Climie’s memoir of her great-uncle, Vyvyan Richards, appeared in Vol. XXIII, No. 1 of the Journal. We are now treated to Part Two, in which Lisa gives a wide ranging and sensitive account of her great-uncle’s confession to Sunday Times journalist Helen Cash that he “fell in love” with Lawrence.


Nick Lynch: A Rough Guide to the Contents of the T. E. Lawrence Society Journal, Vol. I, No. 1 to Vol. XXIV, No. 2

The Journal is an important resource of information about the life of T. E. Lawrence and is regularly referred to by biographers. Nick Lynch has now updated a previous summary of the contents of the Journal under topic headings, which together with the descriptions on this website are an essential tool for anyone interested in a particular aspect of Lawrence’s complex and wide-ranging interests.


Vol. XXV, No. 2, Summer 2016

Tony Gill: Things Done Out of Delight for Himself

This article commences with a previously unknown photograph of a smiling Lawrence standing alongside Augustus John. This account of a friendship between two quite different people shows Lawrence’s ability to relate to people from different strata of society. Tony Gill also draws on Lawrence’s friendship with Robert Graves, to whom he explained his admiration for artists: “Artists excite me, seduce me. Almost I could be an artist, but there is a core that puts the brakes on.”


Mark Calderbank: “Was that all it was then?”: An appraisal of Seven
Pillars of Wisdom by Andre Malraux: Introduction , extracts and commentary

Mark Calderbank gives us a complex insight into an analysis of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by the French writer André Malraux included as Chapter 35 in Le Démon de l’Absolu which was published in 1946 and 1949. Mark concentrates on the point that Malraux had a deep affinity to Lawrence and that he shared with him the secret – after having served in the Spanish Civil War – of being both a man of action and a contemplative.


Brian Marshall: Lowell Thomas and T. E. Lawrence in New Zealand

We have all read accounts of Lowell Thomas’s lectures in London and New York. We are now treated to Brian Marshall’s essay on how Thomas was received in New Zealand. He was supported by extensive press coverage and it is these press accounts which are the main sources for this article.


Jacqueline Dillion: ‘To Fashion All Things Fair’: T. E. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy and The Dynasts

This article explains how the friendship between Lawrence and Thomas Hardy was shaped and mediated by Hardy’s epic verse-drama, The Dynasts, published in three parts between 1904 and 1908. Hardy used the Napoleonic wars as a focal point for exploring the social history of an era into which his parents had been born, yet later we see that Lawrence considered that The Dynasts had a resonance with his own time.


Vol. XXVI, No. 1, Autumn 2016

Roger Holehouse: The Strategic Context to the Arab Revolt

This article aims to give a “simplified view” of British foreign policy towards the Ottoman Empire from the mid-19th Century until the aftermath of the First World War. How did Britain, once an ally of the Ottoman Empire, come into conflict with it?


Alison Jolley: “Oh Ross – How did I become you?”: The Making of the Lawrence Character in Terence Rattigan’s Play

The writer examines correpondence between Arnold Lawrence, Basil Liddell Hart, Robert Graves and others relating to the original production of Terence Rattigan’s play Ross in 1960, now held in the Liddell Hart Archive for Military Studies at King’s College London. What is revealed is a complex and sometimes acrimonious exchange of views over how Rattigan portrayed Lawrence and particularly his way of speaking. The article gives an interesting insight into how historical figures become distorted into “dramatic portraits”.


Miles Wigfield: Private Press Printing With Some References to T.E.L.

Miles Wigfield gives us an insight into one of Lawrence’s abiding interests. Lawrence never set up a private press of his own, but essentially ran a private press for the printing of the Subscribers’ Edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It was Lawrence who dictated the format, chose the typeface and determined the typographical constraints. The essay contains a list of Lawrence-related books, which over the years have been produced by private or small printers.


The Release of Damascus by T.E. Lawrence, with an introduction by Joe Berton

Here, Joe Berton transcribes an article from the Palestine News of 10 October 1918. The identity of the writer is given as “A Correspondent from Beyond the Jordan” but it was of course Lawrence, giving what must have been his first public account of some of the events of the Arab Revolt. As Joe explains in his introduction, the article has a “freshness” about it, and is an important document in that it was written so soon after the event.

Volume XXVI, No. 2, Spring 2017

L Robert Morris, A ‘Lost’ painting of T. E. Lawrence by Augustus John is found.

This ‘missing’ portrait of Lawrence can be found in the Grundy Gallery, Blackpool, England, and for many years a Canadian Professor had been trying to track it down. He knew there was a different portrait to the one known so well in the National Gallery of Canada. This important picture is not only the last portrait in oil known to have been painted of Lawrence, but it was also described as the ‘best thing’ by Lawrence.

Marcus Paul, Crazed by Far Arabia: T. E. Lawrence, John Buchan and the meaning of Sandy Arbuthnot

This paper was originally written for a Buchan based audience, and has now been revised for a Lawrence interested audience. Buchan’s characters, in his famous novels, often become involved in deeds of daring and Sandy Arbuthnot, in his book The Courts of Morning is one of those characters, who has some resemblance to Lawrence. Lawrence made a deep impression on both John Buchan and his wife Susan and this paper demonstrates the affection and esteem they held for him.

John Johnson-Allen, T. E. Lawrence and the Red Sea Patrol.

This paper was inspired by a presentation made at the 2016 T E Lawrence Symposium and gives a new insight into the naval activities supporting the Arab Revolt. It was Lawrence himself who confirmed to The Times how important naval support was to the success of the campaign in the desert. Following extensive research into the activities of the different ships of the Patrol, the author confirms the view that without the work of those ships, the Arab Revolt would have failed. Much of this information was largely unreported at the time of the war, for political reasons, and much is now presented using primary source material from the ships’ logs and other sources.

Dr. J.M. Segers, How T. E. Lawrence inspired Tintin’s Father

Lawrence inspired many people and this paper looks how the Lawrence legend inspired Georges Prosper Remi – better known as Hergé. Herge created the adventures of TintIn, which have delighted young and old audiences from all over the world for many decades. There are many parallels with Tintins’ adventure in the Middle East and Hergé also had an uncertain family origin, similar to Lawrence’s situation.

Paul Nicholson, Steve Mills and Hilary Rose. Views of an Antique Land: Photography in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War.

The authors are part of a Heritage Lottery funded project which aims to collect images of Egypt and Palestine taken during the war. The paper outlines the development of the project archive and its availability in the future. Although there is no direct link with Lawrence, he did spend two years in Cairo before he became involved with the Arab Revolt, and spent time in Egypt both before and after the war. The photos from the project are fascinating and valuable, in that they show the world in which Lawrence and his fellow soldiers operated.


Volume XXVII, No. 1, Autumn 2017

Jeremy Wilson, 1944-2017

A short obituary of the distinguished Lawrence scholar and authorised biographer of Lawrence. Jeremy Wilson died in 2017 and the first part of this Journal is devoted to his life and work.

Joe Berton, Jeremy Wilson, an Appreciation

An appreciation of Jeremy’s life and work from Joe Berton, who himself is a leading Lawrence scholar and author from the USA, and someone who knew him well. Jeremy Wilson was instrumental in researching and publishing much knowledge and information about Lawrence and his times, through his renowned biography, the NPG exhibition in 1988 and his work as a publisher from his own Castle Hill Press. Jeremy was also chairman of the Society and helped develop the form we see today with this Journal and the biennial Symposium.

Peter Metcalfe, Jeremy Wilson – A Tribute

This is the transcript of a tribute read at Jeremy’s funeral by another long standing friend and trustee of the Lawrence Society. Peter unfortunately died in 2017 also. He had a lifelong interest in Lawrence and built up an exceptional personal collection of Lawrence related books and items.

Jeremy Wilson – A List of Achievements

This list is complied from the TEL Studies website, which Jeremy started in 1997 and continued to update until his death in 2017. It lists out all his books and written works as well as articles from periodicals and newspapers. Also included are public lectures worldwide and contributions to television and radio programmes.

James Stejskal, Solved: The Mystery of Blue Mist – ‘Lawrence’s Rolls-Royce’

The author describes how different people on both sides of the Atlantic came together to discover the origins of the Rolls-Royce motor car, shown in the famous photograph, driving into Damascus on 2 October 1918, with Lawrence, dressed in his Arab robes, as a passenger. The paper also explores how Lawrence came into possession of the car, who were the original owners, and what happened to it after the war. This detective story even tracked down where parts of the car are today including the famous Blue Mist nameplate. A fascinating paper describing the full story, not known until now and including some beautiful photographs of an iconic vehicle, so connected with Lawrence, at an important point in his life.

Dick Benson-Gyles, ‘I wasn’t very respectably born.’

This paper describes Lawrence’s father Thomas’s Irish family background and his mother Sarah’s more humble origins. It examines Lawrence’s developing attitude to his Irish ancestry and how his illegitimate background shaped his view of himself as an Irishman. It is likely that Lawrence’s discovery of his illegitimacy, at an early age, caused permanent psychological damage, and may have led to his seeking such anonymity at different times in his later life. It also gave him a traceable ancestry, and a wealthy and distinguished Irish pedigree, albeit one that he could never publicly claim or acknowledge. Surprisingly a truth emerges that eventually Lawrence thought of himself not as English, but as Irish.


Volume XXVII, No 2, Spring 2018

Malcolm Brown, TEL by his Friends, with an introduction by Philip Neale

Malcolm Brown was a long standing supporter and speaker for the T. E. Lawrence Society. As a tribute to him, following his death in 2017, this issue of the Journal contains the transcript of a presentation given by him at the 1994 Symposium. Included are transcripts of recordings of interviews and outtakes, not used in the final BBC documentary production from 1962. Malcolm made 60 copies of the presentation available for a private circulation and until now this has not been published in this form.

Philip Walker, New Light on the Arab Revolt and the Forgotten Few who Shaped It.

A fascinating story of the chance finding of Captain Goodchild’s diary which led to the significant new research carried out by the author in identifying many of the descendants of officers who worked with and supported Lawrence during the Arab Revolt. An important group was led by Colonel Cyril Wilson based in Jeddah. The lives and careers of these skilled and often eccentric characters, often forgotten as playing a key part in the success of the Revolt, are explored together with many photographs never before published. Their importance in keeping the Revolt going despite its many ups and downs, was essential for the successful campaigns in the Middle East.


Volume 28, No. 1, Autumn 2018

Jeremy Palmer, Reading Lawrence in 1927 in France and Germany: Reviews of ‘Revolt in the Desert’.

Despite Seven Pillars of Wisdom being the significant work in Lawrence’s literary output, it was Revolt in the Desert which was published in his own lifetime and was aimed at a popular audience. Therefore it provides a good barometer of popular opinion for Lawrence across these two countries, who were on opposite sides in the war. Reviews for the book across the two countries indicate differing views of Lawrence, but also much in common, for two countries, one which was coming to terms with having lost the war, in the case of Germany, and one which saw the failures of Imperialism, as with France.

Julie Greer, Alice Buxton Winnicott: One Artist’s Relationship with the letters of T. E. Lawrence.

Winnicott was an English artist and ceramicist, a contemporary of Lawrence, and she was married to a renowned psychoanalyst. She developed a long standing friendship with Jim Ede, and through him she came to what she believed was a strong personal connection to Lawrence, through his letters. After Lawrence’s death in 1935, she became even more obsessed with his writing , and in fact she was given guardianship of Lawrence’s letters to Ede, when he moved abroad. She also created a bronze bust of Lawrence, which in quality compares very well with the work of Kennington.

Steve Chell, Eternal T.E.

This paper explores a search of the Siegfried Sassoon archive of journals, manuscripts and correspondence, in Cambridge, and the revelation of a number of hitherto unpublished poems, written by Sassoon, shortly after Lawrence’s death. The texts of the poems together with some beautiful artwork are transcribed and photographed here, and provide further evidence for Sassoon’s love and admiration for Lawrence.

Christophe Leclerc, T. E. Lawrence, Ibn Saud and the Politics of the Desert.

Many historians have claimed that Ibn Saud was the truly dominant figure in Arabia, and there is no doubt that he had a significant influence on the politics and direction of much that changed after the war. His life and career is examined, to assess whether Lawrence, who hardly mentioned Saud in his writing, did not make an error of judgement in supporting Saud’s less spiritually committed rivals the Hashemites, rather than the powerful and influential Emir of Nedj himself.


Volume 28, No. 2, Spring 2019

Dr. Alexander Will, A View from the Other Side into the Unknown: What the Central Powers Knew and Thought about T. E. Lawrence in War and Peace.

It is fascinating that both Germany and Austria both revered and celebrated Lawrence so much after the Great War, but at the same time he does not really feature in any of their wartime military records. The author looks at this interesting conundrum and considers how these two counties together with the Ottomans perceived and judged the Arab Revolt, and how that perception contributed to their eventual defeat.

Iona Glenn, Gender and Orientalism in the Photography of T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell.

The author considers the impact of gender on the prolific photographic output of these two important personalities. They were both fully aware of the dichotomy between the demands across the West and East in terms of gender, and the need for the Western agents to successfully negotiate the difficult path between the masculine and feminine. They both used photography to assert their authority as Orientalists and constructed their own identities in relation to the region. The study highlights the importance for consideration of Bell in her own right, instead of as just a ‘female Lawrence of Arabia’.


Volume 29, No. 1, Autumn 2019

Kerry Webber, S.F. Newcombe and T.E. Lawrence: Beyond Arabia

Captain Stewart Newcombe led a long and distinguished career in Arabia and is well known for his association with Lawrence, at different stages before and during the First World War. This paper uncovers the rest of Newcombe’s story and his many encounters with other great figures from history. He and Lawrence had a long and close friendship, which continued right up to Lawrence’s death. Afterward, Newcombe worked tirelessly to defend his dead friend’s reputation against the detractors and critics.

E.A. Jaroljmek; translated by Clarissa Schnabel, Blowing Up the Mecca Railway

This is a translation of a German newspaper article from 1934 and is written by a former Austrian soldier who served on the Hejaz Railway during the Arab Revolt. An interesting personal and very rare account of the difficulties of operating the railway, together with incidents when the railway was attacked, from the point of view of a serving enemy soldier.

Andrew Bayly and Daniel Bayly, Following Lawrence of Arabia through Jordan

Father and son made a 500km trek in southern Jordan, during January 2019, using camels and retracing the routes Lawrence described in Seven Pillars. They lived and ate like the Bedouin, who were also guiding them. Their discovery of individual locations is described in parallel with apposite quotes from Seven Pillars. Accompanied by their own photographs, this is a unique account of an epic journey and provides much useful information on the present state of these sites in Jordan.


Volume 29, No. 2, Spring 2020

Nick Lynch, T. E. Lawrence Society London Group History

Last year the London Group of the T. E. Lawrence Society celebrated its 30th anniversary. This is an account of its history, by the long standing co-ordinator of the Group. One of the most successful, active and long running of the Society local groups, it began life in 1989 in a flat in West Hampstead. The main reason for its inception being that many of the Society’s activities in those days were too distant for London based members to attend easily.

Lorraine Tinsley, T. E. Lawrence and Leonard Woolley in Carchemish – The Story Behind the Photograph

This paper describes the chance discovery in the Liddell Hart Collection of the transcript of a letter sent to Col. Liddell Hart in the early 1950s. The original letter accompanied a copy of the well known photograph of Lawrence and Woolley at Carchemish and the sender was Dr Heinrich Franke. Franke was a member of the German archaeological team from the nearby site at Tell Halaf. The letter and photograph were sent to Liddell Hart long after Lawrence’s death and alas neither Lawrence nor Woolley ever got to see the picture.

John Seeger, Special Operations in the Middle East during World War One

Originally written as a review for two books that demonstrate the importance of special operations units to the overall success of the desert campaign. In the first book, Behind the Lawrence Legend: The Forgotten Few who shaped the Arab Revolt, Philip Walker offers a strategic perspective on these joint special operations efforts. In the second book, Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz, James Stejskal delivers a comprehensive and exciting report on the campaign from the perspective of the various units involved.

F.J. Manning, introduced by Christophe Leclerc, An interview with Air Commodore F. J. Manning

Manning was Chief Instructor at the Marine Craft Training School at RAF Calshot for a few months in 1934. Lawrence was a frequent caller here to organise spare parts and repairs for Scott Paine’s boatyard at Hythe. As predicted by Lawrence, Manning was subsequently posted to RAF Mount Batten and then on to Bridlington, where once again he met Lawrence, this time as his commanding officer. In this interview, which appears here in full for the first time, Manning gives many insights into this final period of Lawrence’s career.

The international Society for everyone with an interest in the life of T. E. Lawrence