T. E. Lawrence : biography
Lawrence returned to the UK a full Colonel.Asher, M (1998)’ Lawrence :The Uncrowned King of Arabia.’ Page 343. Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office, attending the Paris Peace Conference between January and May as a member of Faisal’s delegation. He served for much of 1921 as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office.
On 17 May 1919, the Handley Page Type O carrying Lawrence on a flight to Egypt crashed at the airport of Roma-Centocelle. The pilot and co-pilot were killed; Lawrence survived with a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs. During his brief hospitalisation, he was visited by King Victor Emanuel III.RID Marzo 2012, Storia dell’Handley Page type 0
In August 1919, the American journalist Lowell Thomas launched a colourful photo show in London entitled With Allenby in Palestine which included a lecture, dancing, and music.Murphy, David The Arab Revolt 1916-18, London: Osprey, 2008, page 86 Initially, Lawrence played only a supporting role in the show, but when Thomas realized that it was the photos of Lawrence dressed as a Bedouin that had captured the public’s imagination, he shot some more photos in London of him in Arab dress. With the new photos, Thomas re-launched his show as With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia in early 1920; it was extremely popular. Thomas’ shows made Lawrence, who until then had been rather obscure, into a household name.
In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross. At the RAF recruiting centre in Covent Garden, London, he was interviewed by a recruiting officer – Flying Officer W. E. Johns, later to be well-known as the author of the Biggles series of novels.Biography of Johns, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Johns rejected Lawrence’s application as he correctly believed "Ross" was a false name. Lawence admitted this was so and the documents he provided were false and left. But he returned some time later with an RAF Messenger, carrying a written order for Johns to accept Lawrence.Orlans (2002). T.E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero. p.55.
However, Lawrence was forced out of the RAF in February 1923 after being exposed. He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally readmitted him in August 1925. A fresh burst of publicity after the publication of Revolt in the Desert (see below) resulted in his assignment to a remote base in British India in late 1926, where he remained until the end of 1928. At that time he was forced to return to Britain after rumours began to circulate that he was involved in espionage activities.
He purchased several small plots of land in Chingford, built a hut and swimming pool there, and visited frequently. This was removed in 1930 when the Chingford Urban District Council acquired the land and passed it to the City of London Corporation, but re-erected the hut in the grounds of The Warren, Loughton, where it remains, neglected, today. Lawrence’s tenure of the Chingford land has now been commemorated by a plaque fixed on the sighting obelisk on Pole Hill.
He continued serving in the RAF based at Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.
Lawrence was a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles.Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Motorcycles, Editor: Erwin Tragatsch, Publisher: New Burlington Books, Copyright: 1979 Quarto Publishing, Edition: 1988 Revised, Page 95, ISBN 0-906286-07-7 His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum. Among the books Lawrence is known to have carried with him on his military campaigns is Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur. Accounts of the 1934 discovery of the Winchester Manuscript of the Morte include a report that Lawrence followed Eugene Vinaver—a Malory scholar—by motorcycle from Manchester to Winchester upon reading of the discovery in The Times.Walter F. Oakeshott, "The Finding of the Manuscript," Essays on Malory, J. A. W. Bennett, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1963]: 1–6)