"Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" by me

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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1919 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:25 am

At the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles in Jan 1919 Lawrence was Advisor to Prince Feisal trying to get him a Country after he had fought on the Allies Side with the promise of Independence from Ottoman Rule.

It was here Augustus John met Lawrence and sketched and painted him.



Had he taken the Turkish side in 1916 and called a Jehad along with his King Hussein of Mecca , then all our Muslim Troops in the Middle East and India would have risen up against Imperial Rule, we may well have lost the Suez Canal and our route to India and the Oil fields of the Gulf.
This would have impacted on our supply of Oil for the War Industry not to mention its impact on the Royal Navy that had converted from Coal to Oil in 1908 we could well have lost the War.
At the Peace Talks Lawrence made Feisal recite the Koran out loud and Lawrence pretending to translate, would in English or French make his own demands on behalf of the Arabs.
He refused to wear his Medal Ribbons on his Uniform as you will see from the picture on the steps at Versailles with Feisal.

They settled for putting Feisal on the Throne of Syria but it was not to last after 1920

Ibn Saud came out the eastern desert near the Gulf where he had been hiding quietly throughout the War,
he Ousted Feisals Father King Hussein out of Mecca and created his own very religious country.Saudi Arabia.

In April 1919 his Father died of the Deadly Spanish Flu raging the world.

In May 1919 Lawrence decided to Hitch a flight from Paris to Cairo so he could pick up papers he had left there, so he could write a book of his war memories.
The Handley Page crashed on landing at Rome Airport killing the Pilot and Co pilot.
Lawrence survived with a broken arm and spent a while there in Hospital before continuing.

He returned to Oxford took up a Fellowship at All Souls College, where he first met Robert Graves who was to become a great friend.
Lawrence commenced writing the draft of
"Seven Pillars of Wisdom" which he lost at Reading Railway Station while changing Trains, and had to start again in Nov.1919
In Dec 1919 he visited American journalist's Slide Show on him and Allenby on the Philharmonic Hall, London.



This Slide show travelled the world for years to sell out crowds. It opened the floodgates for the public's desire for news on him. He had proposals of marriage and men impersonate him.
The best selling romantic novel in 1919 1920 & 1921 "The Sheik" by Edith Maud Hull
Daughter of Liverpool Ship Owner James Henderson
along with Hollywood Silent Movie of her book in 1921with Rudolph Valentino
increased the fever of the public for any news on Lawrence.

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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1920/21 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:03 pm

Throughout 1920 Lawrence was in All Souls College writing his draft of Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

In May 1920 Prince Feisal was made King of The Arab Kingdom of Syria.

At the same time May 1920 Sunni and Shia and Kurds revolted in British Mandate Mesopotamia soon to be Iraq.

Britain had 25,000 British Troops and 80,000 Indian Troops trying to contain them.

The Army used Gas against them in an attempt to contain them.

In all 10 000 Iraqi's were killed

500 British and Indian Troops died.

It was costing between £40 million and £50 million, twice that of the cost that was invested in the 1917/8 Arab Revolt against the Ottomans.

Lawrence used his Fame and inside knowledge, to ask his Newspaper Owner Friends and Newspaper.Editor Friends, to publish his articles, exposing the Govt cost.

He proposed using the RAF as a more Effective and Cheaper option.

The Government relented and the RAF was given the Major role, over the Army
This increased its Rank as a Major Force .
They flew 4008 hrs of Missions. Dropped 97 Tons of Bombs, Fired 184,000 rounds of Bullets and lost only 9 RAF killed and 7 Wounded and 11 Aircraft lost.

RAF Air Marshall Sir Hugh Trenchard never forgot this Debt, that he owed his friend Lawrence.
The RAF reduced the cost to £21 million a year.4 years later.

Churchill issued a "Top Secret Order" for Chemical Weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction to be used against the Insurgents but Bomber Harris declined.

In July 1920 the French Army invaded The Lebanon and Syria
and dethroned King Feisal, he returned to the UK in August 1920

Lawrence joined the Colonial Office on 3 Dec 1920 having been invited by Churchill to serve on a Committee to ensure Feisal; got a Country as King somewhere, and solve the insurgent unrest in British held Palestine,
Trans Jordan and Mesopotamia.



In March 1921 the 40 Thieves as they called themselves set out to a Peace Conference in Cairo to sort out the unrest in the Middle East.




They ( Winston Churchill, T E Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, Sir Percy Cox) first offered Prince Abdullah of Trans Jordan the Throne of British Mandate Iraq but he refused but his Brother Feisal accepted.
But he was unknown there as their future King.
The Borders of this new Country were drawn on a Map with a Ruler hence it's straight border boundaries and no real port which would lead Saddam Hussein 80 years later attempt to correct by invading Kuwait.
To make it Legal and Official Britain held a Referendum to elect Prince Feisal but first Churchill arranged for Feisals opponent to be escorted by gun point for an extended holiday in Malta at the British Governments Expense.
Feisal was unanimously elected by More Voters than were Officially on the Voters List.
He took the Throne Of Iraq in August 1921 the band played the British National Anthem
"God Save Our Gracious King" and it remainded Iraq's National Anthem for 11 years till 1932


Feisal went in 1933 to Switzerland for a Health Check with his Doctors who declared him physically fit but a few days later he died, supposedly of a Heart Attack but his Secretary stated he complained of Stomach Pains and there was a smell of Arsenic and that he was poisoned. His body was embalmed before an Autopsy could be done.
This Followed Gertrude Bells apparent Suicide in 1926 from an apparent Sleeping Pill Overdose.
And Lawrence's apparent Motorcycle crash to come in 1935
and Sir Percy Coxs sudden Death while out Hunting n 1937
Abdullah was Assassinated in 1951
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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1922 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:12 pm

His 1922 Subscribers Edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom was published.
He tried to turn it into a work of art by having each Chapter start with a very ornate letter of the Alphabet.
Every Page ended in a sentence with a Full Stop.
He used the Latest Artists of the period for his illustrations.



Lawrence although viewed by many as an Englishman, was registered as born in Tremadog , Wales, grew up in Scotland, Isle of Man and France, but always considered himself Irish.
It appears he met with Michael Collins of The Irish Free State Army, again in July 1922
after resigning from his £1,200 p.a. post working in the Colonial Office with Churchill.
Lawrence suggested that Collins had offered him a position as Training Officer in his New Army because of Lawrence's knowledge in guerrilla warfare and sympathy for the Irish Cause.
Churchill thought that Lawrence's recent request to be allowed to join the RAF as an ordinary aircraftsman, rather than an Officer, was a complete waste of talent , and Churchill wanted to do everything in his power to stop it.

But he would have also considered that Lawrence's becoming an ordinary aircraftsman, was infinitely more preferable to the possible alternative and political nightmare of an English National War Hero, becoming embroiled in an Irish Civil War by joining Collins and his Army.


Churchill therefore finally gave permission to Trenchard to let Lawrence join the Ranks of the RAF
Air Marshall Trenchard wrote an authorisation on 14th August 1922 that Lawrence be allowed to join at Henrietta St.Recruiting Office Covent garden on 21st August 1922 under the name John Hume Ross,
apparently Lawrence's brother Arnold, chose this name, it was that of a friend of their Mother's, and it was short.

Michael Collins was Assassinated on 22nd August 1922 by persons that today are still unknown.

Lawrence changed his enlist date to the 31st August 1922 last minute.

When he arrived at the Recruiting Office for a medical and form/application fill in, the person he was told to ask for who would fix things, wasn't there.
On the application he stated his Date of Birth as 15th August 1894 not 1888 and stated he was an Architects Clerk not that he was unemployed.
The Recruiting Officer was a Capt. W E Johns later of "Biggles" fame.
He and Sgt. Major Gee were suspicious of this recruit especially seeing the bullet wounds and flogging marks on his back from his War service and his torture during his capture at Deraa during the War.
The Doctor refused to pass him and Lawrence went away.
While he was away the Sgt. Major checked Birth records at Somerset House and found John Hume Ross did not exist.
When Lawrence returned they were ready for him !
But, Lawrence returned escorted by an Air Ministry Messenger with an Order from "The Top"
When Capt . W.E .Johns showed it to his Commanding Officer he was told:
"For Heaven's Sake, watch your step, this man is Lawrence of Arabia, Get him into the Force or you'll get your Bowler Hat !"
A Doctor was found who would pass him as fit.
The following day he arrived for training at RAF Uxbridge.

He kept notes to write a book about this training period later to be published called "The Mint"
Terence Rattigan wrote his play "Ross" also a out this period.

He excused himself of all photos of his unit.
But appears in this Company Photo looking out of the window from inside.


Lawrence promised Trenchard " The Mint" would not be published till after his death,
so as not to affect recruitment into the RAF.


They continued to be friends even after Trenchard had read it.
They continued to meet and correspond for years.
Lawrence commenting of several things from below in the ranks that Trenchard took on board to change and improve the RAF
On 27th Dec 1922 The Daily Mail broke a story : " Uncrowned King as A Private Soldier"
In January 1923 the Air Ministry from pressure, had to discharge him.

In February 1923 Lawrence wrote to his War time friend Sir Philip Chetwode Chief of Imperial General Staff a d asked for permission to join the Tank Corps instead.
On 12 March 1923 under a name he chose because it was short and at the rear of the alphabet and not because of his friendship with George Bernard Shaw.
He chose the name T.E.Shaw and was assigned to B Company Hut 12, of Tank Corp at Bovington Camp, Dorset


Lawrence bought a small cottage "Clouds Hill " just up the road from the camp on the edge of the range.at Moreton
The Land Owners were Vansitartt /Chapmans and were his second cousins by marriage.
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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1925/ 1929 by me.

Postby ALAMO2008 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:25 pm

Lawrence desperately wanted to get back into the RAF
He threatened suicide once while visiting the Trenchards at their home.
To which Trenchard replied " You'll have to go elsewhere, as my Wife wouldn't want blood on her new carpet"
Trenchard and George Bernard Shaw put pressure on the PM to allow his return into the RAF

He finally got his wish and was readmitted to his beloved RAF in August 1925

On 7 Dec 1926 to escape any potential publicity during pending books being published, he opted for an overseas posting to India. for 5 years.
Arriving at RAF Karachi on 7 Jan 1927
The Commanding Officer there was injured in WW1 and suffered violent rages and mood swings that made life hell there for every rank.
A Lawrence letter to Trenchard expedited a replacement and his early retirement on ill health grounds.

The new C.O. guessing what had happened, and knowing who Aircraftman Shaw really was, decided he didn't want the same fate, so he immediately transferred Lawrence to the remotest RAF base on the North West Frontier with Afghanistan, RAF Miranshah in May 1928

There he never left the base, listed to records when off duty, read books and translated Homers Odyssey from Ancient Greek.
A lovely quiet life , till an Afghan Civil War broke out just over the border.
Stalin and the Russian Paper Pravda claimed the Tribes were being led by Lawrence of Arabia.

The English Press got hold of this in December 1928 and English Communists burnt an Effigy of Lawrence on Tower Hill, London.
Labour M.P. Ernest Thurtle demanded in Parliament that the Government confirm that this is untrue and demands the RAF confirm, where he actually, is stationed.
Of Course, the answer, Well actually he's just up the road from all the trouble, quietly translating in his spare time was not believed.
He was ordered on the first flight out of Miranshah to Bombay on 8 Jan.1929
and put on the first ship out, back to the U.K. on 12 Jan 1929
The ship was due to dock at Tilbury, London but he decided to jump ship at Plymouth on 2 Feb 1929
Pathe News Reporters hired a boat and went out to the ship at anchor in the bay and took the last movie footage of him climbing down a rope ladder into a launch.


He escaped the Press for the next 6 years.

His first priority at Plymouth was to catch a Train to London and meet M.P. Ernest Thurtle and get him to stop pursuing questions about him in Parliament.
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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1929/30 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:00 pm

Lawrence met Labour MP Ernest Thurtle at Parliament and convinced him he was not working as a spy but wanted a quiet life in the RAF
They became good friends, Lawrence lending him Seven Pillars, The Mint and The Odyssey.
From his new posting at RAF Cattewater Plymouth he helped out at Calshot for the International Schneider Air Speed Trials in Aug 1929 which The British Supermarine single seater RJ Mitchell Seaplane S6 Won setting a new Speed Record.
This was Mitchells forerunner of his Famous "Spitfire"



Lord Hoare the Minister for Air did not like this ordinary aircraftsman hob knobbing at the Event with High Ranking Personnel from all countries on first name terms .
He was determined to get Lawrence out of the RAF again.
But met his Death shortly after when he was blown up aboard the R101 Airship.

Lab MP Ernest Thurtle had been wounded in 1917 at The Battle of Cambrai and had seen over 300 men shot at dawn for Cowardice.
He was determined to get his bill through Parliament for the Abolishment of the Death Penalty for Cowardice. But it kept failing in the Lords where Ex Officers like Allenby now sat.
Their argument was that it would reduce the determination of the Soldiers to fight.

Lawrence now decided to add his weight to the fight and support Thurtle by enlisting the help of his personal friends. Here is a list of Lawrences Friends:
Sir Edward Elgar
Sir Philip Sassoon
Sir William Rothstein
Sir Ronald Storrs
Sir Herbert Baker
Sir Gilbert Clayton
Sir Geoffrey Salmond
Sir R Salmond
Lord Lloyd
Lord Carlow
Lord Wavell
Lady Astor
Lady Kennett
H St John Philby(Kim's Father)
Winston Churchill
John Buchan
George Bernard Shaw
Robert Graves
E M Forster
Siegfried Sassoon
JM Barrie
Rudyard Kipling
Henry Williamson
Noel Coward
Frederick Manning
B Liddell Hart
Augustus John
Eric Kennington
George Brough
Frank Whittle
Air Marshall Hugh Trenchard

Lawrence's Counter Argument was the fact that, the Australians had always made it clear when they joined the War effort, that none of their men were to be executed for these crimes.
No Australians were shot for Cowardice or Desertion and yet it was clear that their Troops had been as effective as any others in the War.

The Bill was Passed in 1930 and Military Death Penalty Abolished


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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia"1930/31 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:45 pm

Throughout these years T.E. buried himself in work and visiting friends.

He did allow his Fame to used by George Brough maker of his Motorcycle.
Of which he had Six from 1919 to 1935



American Publisher F N Doubleday gifted T.E. a motor launch which he called "Biscuit"
T.E. would take his Commanding Officer Wife for rides in it or his other Lady friend, Lady Astor of Cliveden.

In February 1931during one such outing on the Solent they witnessed a RAF Iris 111 Seaplane crash into the water. While the rescuers rowed out to help.T.E. in his motorlaunch was first on the scene and dived down to pull some survivors from the wreck.

At the Inquest it transpired that a superior officer in rank unable to fly ordered the pilot to give him control.
When T.E.was asked if he would flown with that Officer.His reply was : "Only if ordered to so, Sir"

With Lady Astor help they put pressure on the Air Ministry to make it International Air Law that the Pilot designated was in charge of the plane, regardless of Rank or Royalty on board.

They also put pressure on the RAF to develop Speed Boats to help save Pilots who ditched in the sea.

T.E. played a big part in their development and trials.

In 1932 he wrote The Manual/Handbook for the RAF 200 Power Boat Tender


He became friends with Colleague Frank Whittle who later invented the Jet Engine.

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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1932/33 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:43 pm

Frank Whittle once asked T.E. for his autograph for his niece.
T.E. asked "What name shall I put ?"
Whittle knowing that T E Shaw was not his real name stated "Why your real name Lawrence of course !"
T.E signed it : T.E.Shaw, John Hume Ross, T.E. Lawrence
Handed it to him and said "None of them are my real name !"
By that , he meant, he was really T.E.Chapman

He wrote to George Hynes in 1932 in Liverpool his ex WW1 RAF friend in Arabia, concerning his new born son.
They were still in contact after 14 years.
Bobhamo reminded me in an earlier post that I had a book about Lawrences Secret AirForce by Hynes and implied Hynes was from Bootle.
I have found he later lived by Walton Hall Park off Queens Drive.


Another amusing Story in this period was related by a Sergeant on Parade on Rembrance Day not knowing who Aircraftman T E Shaw really was, Balled him out in front of the Squad for not wearing his Medals on Parade.
Made him go and get them and return.
Expecting Shaw to return wearing Two possibly Three
He returned wearing a Chest Full.




Companionship of the Order of Bath(Military)
Distinguished Service Order
1914~1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal 1918 with Oak Leaf
Legion of Honour (Chevalier)
Crioix de Guerre with Palm
Italian Silver Medal for Military Valour

Next four are Spurious Awards=

Order of Merit (reverse of Civil Version)
Hejaz Order of al Nahda
Turkish Order of the Medjidie
Iraq Order of the Two Rivers (Military Version)

Lawrence was recommended for the Victoria Cross by General Murray for his 300 mile reconnaissance behind Enemy Lines to Damascus while on route to capture Aqaba in 1917 but as no Officer witnessed it that could not be awarded.

At Tafilah in March 1918 Lawrence and his Arabs raided and scuttled Turkish Boats on the Dead Sea.
Lawrence thought to recommend Himself for the Naval DSO since it was the First time the Cavalry had Won a Naval Battle.

In July 1918 he thought to recommend Himself for the Distinguished Flying Cross
( "for having the presence of mind in not shooting down two Bristol Fighters")
whilst on a Reconnaissance ride and having made the Regulation "Friendly" signal his party was attacked by a couple of British Planes, but he refrained from retaliation with their own automatic rifles.
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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1934 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:46 pm

Throughout this year T..E. continued working on Target Boats, Speed Boats and the very first proto type of the Hovercraft.


Arthur Hall and T E Shaw


For some unknown reason, the RAF hierarchy allowed T.E. to wear Civilian Clothes while on duty rather than his RAF Uniform.

As seen here aboard HM Aquarius during trials on the River Mersey when he was based at Northwich.
He sailed Aquarius back from Liverpool to Plymouth.

T.E. continued to bombard his Friends in the RAF Hierarchy with continual Suggestions as to Reforms in the RAF
He personally told Trenchard that he couldn't see why any RAF personnel would ever need a Bayonet and the man hours Polishing it a waste of RAF time., He got MP Friend Ernest Thurtle to ask about the RAF Bayonet ib Parliament, his reply was that it had now been discontinued.

He sent some 58 suggestions to make life in the RAF easier =







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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1934 Continued by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:45 am

23 February 1934 Composer Sir Edward Elgar writes his last letter and posts it at his home in Worcestershire before going to bed and dying in his sleep.
This letter was to his Friend : T.E.Shaw (Lawrence)
T.E.. had visited Elgar at his Worcestershire Home on several occasions with George Bernard Shaw and gone to Plays at Malvern of G.B.Shaw.
On one occasion in Elgars garden, they listened to a young 16 year old Violinist Prodigy named Yehudi Menuhin
He went onto to record in 1932 aged 16 Elgars Violin Concerto in B minor for HMV

Later in 1934 T.E. was posted to RAF Bridlington for his final few months of service in the RAF
before retiring.
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Re: "Lawrence / Chapman Of Arabia" 1935 by me

Postby ALAMO2008 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:55 pm

Lawrence travels in January 1935 to the home of Artist/Painter Augustus John at Fordingbridge Hampshire and sits for sketches for his forthcoming book "The Mint" which was being printed privately.

Lawrence finally retired from his beloved RAF on 26 February 1935 after spending his final months based
at RAF Bridlington



He had a Final photo taken on his Push Bike on his last day 26 Feb at Bridlington leaning against a wall.



He then cycled in the direction of home in Dorset calling at several friends on route, including his younger Brother Arnold who was Professor of History at Cambridge University.
John Buchan author at Elfield Manor, Oxford


When he arrives home at "Clouds Hill" Dorset, he finds Newspaper journalists and photographers camped outside his home waiting for him.

He cycles on 19 March to London to meet with the Press Association to ask them to leave him alone.

He continues onto Chartwell, Kent and stays with Winston Churchill and his Wife on 24 March , for two days discussing Air fields and Air Defences should Hitler attack Gt.Britain

Early April he visits and stays with Lord and Lady Astor at Cliveden. she tries to talk him into taking a High Ranking Govt job.

He states his plan to write a book about the Life and Spying Trial of Irishman "Sir Roger Casement"

In early May his friend Lord Carlow comes to stay with him at "Clouds Hill"
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