Lawrence of Arabia
The Players T.E. Lawrence Prince Feisal General Allenby King Hussein Dahoum Winston Churchill Lowell Thomas Auda Abu Tayeh Arab Revolt Battle Features The Show Resources Classroom Resources Home  
T.E. Lawrence
  With the Allied victory came disappointment for the Arabs, when they were finally informed of Britain and France's decision regarding the future of Syria.

Lawrence immediately returned to London to present the Arab point of view to the British government. In a act of protest he refused to accept medals from the King and wrote repeatedly to newspapers to promote Arab independence.

Lawrence traveled with the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 as Prince Feisal's translator. He witnessed first-hand how the Arab voice was ignored by Western leaders culminating in the decision that France should take custody of Syria. There would be no self-governed Arab state. For the Arabs and Lawrence it was a bitter blow.

That same year an American, Lowell Thomas, brought his "slide and lantern" lecture to London and made Lawrence a star. But bitter about the Paris settlement and tired of the limelight, Lawrence tried to escape his celebrity.

He retired and wrote his war memoirs, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which were published privately in 1926.

In 1920, Churchill called Lawrence back into government service, to work as advisor in the Colonial Office where he would help to construct a pro-Arab settlement for the Middle East.

Following the Cairo Conference in March 1921 Feisal was installed as the ruler of Iraq and his brother, Abdullah, was appointed the King of the new country of Trans-Jordan. Lawrence thought it was a more honourable settlement - at last.

From 1922-1935 Lawrence returned to the relative anonymity of the armed forces, first as an ordinary airman in the Royal Air Force and later as a private in the British Army. In an effort to disguise his celebrity, he assumed the names of John Hume Ross and then Thomas Edward Shaw. He was still hounded by the press but managed to enjoy a few happy years working as a mechanic.

In 1935 he left service and planned an early retirement in his dream home, Clouds Hill, in Dorset. In May of that year Lawrence was racing back from the local post office when he lost control of his motorbike and crashed at high speed. Suicide and other conspiracy theories have been floated about the crash. After several days in intensive care Lawrence was declared dead.

His funeral service was attended by many powerful and influential figures including Winston Churchill, who deemed him "one of the greatest beings alive in this time".


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T.E.Lawrence | Prince Feisal | General Allenby | King Hussein | Dahoum | Winston Churchill | Lowell Thomas | Auda Abu Tayeh

Lawrence hid from the public
  Lawrence hid from public life for the rest of his years

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Lawrence of Arabia