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  • By John Pateman
    Jun 27, 2012
    This is the story of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) who served at RAF College Cranwell as Aircraftman T.E. Shaw from August 1925 until December 1926. Lawrence was happy at Cranwell and made many good friends including the College librarian, Rupert de la Bere, and fellow Aircraftmen such as Sergeant Pugh. His story is told through his letters to family and friends and through part three of The Mint, his honest account of service in the ranks. There are also some contemporary accounts from his station commander, 'Biffy' Borton and Clare Sydney Smith (The Golden Reign). Lawrence was popular with the men and would go shopping on his powerful Brough Superior motorcycle to buy them supplies in Lincoln, Newark and Sleaford. He also raced a Bristol Fighter from RAF Digby on the main road from Cranwell to Lincoln. He helped at a traffic accident and broke his wrist trying to hand crank a car. He finished the job and rode back to camp and refused hospital treatment. As Sergeant Pugh said... More > 'That is a man.' He visited Lincoln Cathedral with EM Forster and regularly travelled down the Great North Road to London where he stayed at Barton Street or the Union Jack Club. He also visited the Shaws at Ayot St Lawrence and kept up a voluminous and intimate correspondence with Charlotte Shaw, who he used as a surrogate mother. His own mother, who he had a difficult relationship with, was in China on missionary work. He lodged at Steep Hill in Lincoln and paid rent to Ruby Bryan on a room in Newark. He needed peace and quiet to rewrite and publish the subscribers edition of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He presented a proof copy to the College Library at Cranwell. He also used two fellow aircraftmen to produce an abridged version - Revolt in the Desert - which paid for the hugely expensive subscribers edition. When these books became due for publication he requested a transfer to India so that he could be out of the country when the media storm broke. In India he kept up correspondence with Sergeant Pugh and Charlotte Shaw. His last visit to Cranwell was in 1935 when he left the RAF and cycled from Bridlington to Clouds Hill in Dorset. He called in to see Rupert de la Bere and planned to visit Frederic Manning in Bourne, only to learn that he had just died. Lawrence himself died a few months later in a motorcycle accident at Bovington, Dorset.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Pateran Press
June 27, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.35 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.26 wide x 11.69 tall
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