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Stanley_C_Jenkins

T.E.Lawrence

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

Despite the wealth of information about T.E.Lawrence, it suddenly struck me that I did not know which regiment or corps he served with. The Oxford DNB says that he was "a subaltern attached to the military intelligence department of the Egyptian expeditionary force", but does that mean that he was in the Intelligence Corps? And what was his final army rank - was he a full colonel?

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michaeldr

This is the last LG entry thrown out by their search engine

6326 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 7 JUNE, 1920

The undermentioned to be temp. Lt.-'Cols. : —

Whilst specially empld.: —

Temp. Maj. T. E. Lawrence, C.B., D.S.O., Gen. List,

from 16th Oct. 1918 to 31st July 1919.

(Substituted for the notification in tihe Gazette of 13th May 1920.)

Which is not say that it was his very last promotion

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albion353

Despite the wealth of information about T.E.Lawrence, it suddenly struck me that I did not know which regiment or corps he served with. The Oxford DNB says that he was "a subaltern attached to the military intelligence department of the Egyptian expeditionary force", but does that mean that he was in the Intelligence Corps? And what was his final army rank - was he a full colonel?

If you are interested in T.E, Lawrence you want to get hold of a copy of his book, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". The first time I read it, I found it a bit hard to get into, but I am glad I stuck with it as it was a great book, full of personal information about his life and work in the Middle East. You really got an idea about how he thought. He was a patriotic man and he didn't care how he got the job done, as long as England got the benefit.

There is also a second book called "The Mint" which covers the period when he joined the RAF as an anonymous ranker, but I got the impression that everyone knew who he really was.

I can recomend both books.

J47.

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michaeldr

Which is not say that it was his very last promotion

Allenby (the message was signed by Bols) wrote to Lawrence on 25th September 1918 and addressed him as Lt-Col Lawrence CB, DSO

He is also given as 'Lt-Col Lawrence' in Chauvel's record of the meeting between Allenby and Feisal at the Hotel Victoria, Damascus, on 3rd October 1918.

It was at the end of this meeting that Lawrence asked Allenby for leave to return to England. Adrian Greaves writing in his 'Lawrence of Arabia – mirage of a desert war' has it that at this point TEL asked the Chief for a favour; “...promotion to the rank of colonel so that he could travel back to England with a first class rail ticket and have his own berth on the ship home. Allenby promoted him then and there.”

Allenby, in his private correspondence later (e.g; 1919>) refers to him as Col. Lawrence.

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Philip Wilson

Army Honours and Awards ISBN 0 903754 026 1 contains the lists originally published in the Supplement to the official Army List, April 1920 under Military Companions (CB) page 130 he is listed:

LAWRENCE Lt.-Col. T.E., DSO; late Gen. List.

There is a corresponding entry confirming the award of the DSO on page 253.

He may have been addressed as Colonel but in June 1921 he was appointed a plenipotentiary under the great seal of England with full powers to treat with King Hussein, Grand Sherrif of Mecca the document is dated 30th June 1921 and was addressed:

Our most trusty and well-beloved Thomas Edward Lawrence Esquire, Lieutenant Colonel in Our Army, Companion of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Companion of Our Distinguished Service Order.

During the course of a private audience with King George V at Buckingham Palace in October 1918 LAWRENCE declined to accept the award of both the CB and DSO as he had pledged his word to Feisal and that now the British Government were about to let down the Arabs over the Sykes-Picot Agreement. See T.E.LAWRENCE - His ORDERS,DECORATIONS and MEDALS by Ronald D.KNIGHT.ISBN 0 903769 96 4 published in 1989.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

When the officer's papers were released at TNA Lawrence's was one of the files which had to be examined under supervision. I looked at it quite soon after the releases and it is still one of the most boring officer's files I have ever seen. There is virtually nothing of consequence in it.

Tom

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bob lembke

Contrasting J47 and Phillip Wilson's comments, and my reading of some of the material, some years ago, my take was strongly colored by the degree by which he was influenced and upset by the knowledge that the Arabs that he had worked so hard to help were being massively double-crossed and screwed after the war was over. I am sure that he was patriotic, but my impression was that this was his strongest emotion. Anyone have an opinion as to how much did that have a role in his adopting the role of a RAF OR? A feeling that that course of events compromised his own honor?

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albion353

Bob,

There are a lot of differing opinions when it comes to Lawrence. As little as I know, I believe he genuinely thought his promises were going to be honoured, Allenby and Feisal couldn't get rid of him fast enough.

When it was all over, I think he had just had enough and wanted to go back to being the person he was before.

He was a very eccentric individual, and people had trouble understanding him, which tended to lead them into trying to read too much into his character.

When he joined the RAF he was looking for the security of a disciplined life, without any of the responsibility, and he thought he could do this with the anonymity of the ranks.

I found it strange to think that a man of his education and social standing would fit into the ranks; I thought it would soon be obvious to them that he was not from a working class background. He did however fit in well with the rank and file, but the officers were a different matter entirely.

This is just my opinion of course, and I am sure there are others who would disagree, as I said before, this is a very complex individual.

J47

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Story

Scott Anderson spent four years researching Lawrence as well as three other young men who were involved in the momentous events of the Middle East during and after World War I. (Those other men include an American, a German and a Jew living in Palestine.) What Anderson discovered about Lawrence is different from, but every bit as interesting as, the popular image of the man.

Anderson is a journalist who's covered conflicts in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Northern Ireland, Chechnya and Sudan. He's written two novels, two books of nonfiction and co-authored two books with his brother, journalist Jon Lee Anderson. He joins Fresh Air's Dave Davies to talk about his new book, Lawrence In Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/19/209573091/lawrence-of-arabia-from-archaeologist-to-war-hero

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David Filsell

Was not the term for an officer like Lawrence "General Duties" if he had not been commissioned into a Regiment or any other formation?

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Ghazala

Colonel T E Lawrence CB DSO Croix de Guerre, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour

The following extract is from a letter TEL wrote to Robert Graves and Basil Liddle-Hart......

I was gazetted a CB for taking Akaba and promoted to field rank (Major) from Captain so as to be eligible for the CB. Wingate recommended for the VC instead, but it was quite properly (and and much to my relief) refused. My report to Clayton admitted no individual effort of the VC character. It is not given for good staff work, or brainy leadership, but for courage of the fighting sort - and I am not a fighter.

My lieutenant colonelcy came in early 1918, to put me on the level with Joyce, who was GSO 1 for liaison with the Arab Regular Army, as I was GSO 1 for liaison with bedouins - a scheme worked out by Dawnay. It isn't true to say I accepted it. I just went on working whatever they called me.

My odd pip to full Colonel, came when I wanted to return to England after Damascus. I went to GHQ and asked for the promotion. They were surprised. I explained it was to get a berth on the staff train through Italy. So they told me to put it up - special, temporary and acting. I called it the 'Taranto' rank.

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michaeldr

Colonel T E Lawrence CB DSO Croix de Guerre, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour

special, temporary and acting. I called it the 'Taranto' rank.

Lovely - That's got the TEL ring to it.

Edited by michaeldr

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Ghazala

TEL was not, significantly, a professional military officer. Originally brought into the King's Service to work with British Military Intelligence section in Cairo (his duties initially limited to cartography), in 1916 he was dispatched to the Arabian Desert to investigate the potential in a nascent Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks.

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David Filsell

I have heard it argued that despite his stated views on the Arabs, he was instrumental in manoeuvring them into the position which the British Government wanted. He was under orders. Others may no more or be able to source the opinion. If he was so ordered, all that followed might have been the result of self disgust or lack of self esteem - although he certainly estimated himself highly in Seven Pillars.As I have said on another recent thread I sincerely wish to admire TEL, but there are just some things about the man that defy the proof and analysis which enables me to admire him.

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michaeldr

As I have said on another recent thread I sincerely wish to admire TEL, but there are just some things about the man that defy the proof and analysis which enables me to admire him.

I wonder if you have missed his Introduction to the Seven Pillars, where he says:

'This isolated picture throwing the main light upon myself is unfair to my British colleagues.'

I see no deceit there.

He goes on

'My proper share was a minor one, but because of a fluent pen, a free speech, and a certain adroitness of brain, I took upon myself, as I describe it, a mock primacy. In reality I never had any office among the Arabs; was never in charge of the British mission with them.'

And again, I see no deceit there either.

I recommend it to you: pages 21 to 24 in my copy

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David Filsell

Agree, most modest. I think we have a touch of the apples and oranges. But my comment was rather different and did not state deceit. I simply said:

"I sincerely wish to admire TEL, but there are just some things about the man that defy the proof and analysis which enables me to admire him."

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michaeldr

Agree, most modest. I think we have a touch of the apples and oranges. But my comment was rather different and did not state deceit. I simply said:

"I sincerely wish to admire TEL, but there are just some things about the man that defy the proof and analysis which enables me to admire him."

my comment was rather different and did not state deceit.

Correct

And I merely recommended TEL's Introduction

No doubt, in time, your sincerity will be rewarded

Good luck.

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gem22

Many readers of works by or about Lawrence tend to recommend 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'The Mint' as THE books to read about T.E.L but I must add 'Lawrence of Arabia, The Selected Letters edited by Malcolm Brown. I suggest you will learn a lot more about the man from this book.

It would also answer both your questions about Lawrence's regiment and final rank - here I am assuming you mean his final army rank and not his RAF rank.

He was enrolled into MO4 (the geographical division of Military Intelligence as a civilian but was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on the special list (an officer without regimental affiliation) on 26 October 1914.

As for his final army rank then I'm surprised that no one has mentioned his service in the Royal Tank Corps in between his two periods of service in the RAF. He remained a private soldier throughout that period which was all he wanted. A very unusual private soldier, probably the only one who could afford his own house, but a private soldier none the less.

Garth

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bushfighter

"I sincerely wish to admire TEL, but there are just some things about the man that defy the proof and analysis which enables me to admire him."

David

Why not forget about admiration and just respect the man for his achievements, which were not insignificant.

All of us everywhere carry concealed scars and blemishes, and most of us avoid detailed scrutiny and resultant criticism. TEL was an imperfect man, just as we ourselves are imperfect.

Harry

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Moonraker

He would be very far from the first soldier not to have embellished, or have had embellished, his exploits. Eyebrows have been raised at certain books relating to the First Gulf War.

Moonraker

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David Filsell

Bush fighter

That's its it. I'm just not sure about his claimed achievements or those climbed by other for him. See Lawrence the Arab vieŵ.

Regards

David

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bushfighter

Right, well let's stop gassing about it.

Please do the research and publish an article or two.

Harry

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Ghazala

Paris Peace Conference 1919, Paris. Emir Feisal party at Versailles 1919. Photograph shows:

Left to right.. Rustum Haidar, (Feisal's personal secretary), Nuri as-Said (later Prime Minister of Iraq), Capitain Pisani, commander of the French gunnery detachment with Feisal's army, Feisal, Lawrence, Feisal's slave, and Captain Hassan Kadiri.

Feisal put the Arab case as strongly as he could, but the French position was too strong. All prevous agreements affecting Syria and Mesopotamia were swept aside to make way for the League of Nations Mandate scheme. In effect this gave France imperial power in Syria, while the Anglo-Indian lobby took Mesopotamia. Only America could have put a stop to this convenient deal, but President Wlson lacked the authority to do so. Feisal left France in April 1919, to a precarious stewardship of his inland Kingdom in Syria. It took little more than a year for the French authorities to supersede him.

post-100478-0-66979600-1377265263_thumb.

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SWET59

Many readers of works by or about Lawrence tend to recommend 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'The Mint' as THE books to read about T.E.L but I must add 'Lawrence of Arabia, The Selected Letters edited by Malcolm Brown. I suggest you will learn a lot more about the man from this book.

Garth

I would add to that "The Letters of T E Lawrence" edited by David Garnett, published 1938 by Jonathan Cape. It covers the period 1906 to 13 May 1935 (the day of the crash).

Peter

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