Lawrence of Arabia Facts

Short Summary of Some Aspects of T.E.Lawrence Life

  • Thomas Edward Lawrence was born on 16 August 1888 in north Wales.
  • Lawrence studied at Jesus College Oxford University
  • In 1909 T.E.Lawrence first visited Syria and Palestine
  • In 1914, Lawrence, working for British intelligence was part of an expedition exploring northern Sinai, carrying out reconnaissance under cover of a scientific expedition
  • T.E.Lawrence was a polyglot fluent in many languages including French, German, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Turkish and Syriac.
  • In 1921, Winston Churchill appointed Lawrence as an adviser, but in 1922 Lawrence resigned to join the RAF
  • T.E.Lawrence twice changed his name to avoid the fame of his war exploits. John Hume Ross and Thomas Edward Shaw
  • T.E. Lawrence left the RAF in February 1935 and died on 19 May following a motorcycle accident.
  • T.E. Lawrence was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the French Légion d’Honneur.
  • However in October 1918 he refused to be made a Knight Commander of the British Empire.
  • T.E. Lawrence was only 5’5″ tall quite short for the time period.
  • T.E. Lawrence was described as ‘the untidiest officer in the British Army’. He was well known for his dislike of authority and disregard for rank.
  • The British army suppressed any image of T.E.Lawrence during the war because the Turks had put a bounty on his head. They never knew what he looked like. It wasn’t until 1919 that his exploits became known in UK.
  • He had four brothers, all born in different parts of the British Isles
  • T.E.Lawrence was vegetarian and also abstained from tobacco and alcohol.
  • His work, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, written in 1926, is still recommended to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan today.
  • T.E.Lawrence loved speed. It is estimated he was doing just under 100mph on his motorbike before his fatal crash.
  • His fatal crash led a leading neurosurgeon to make effective recommendations on the necessity of people wearing crash helmets on bikes.

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