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Hiding from Fame

Lawrence helped increase his renown through publication in various forms of his literary, introspective, often self-critical but also highly dramatic memoir of the Arab Revolt: Seven Pillars of Wisdom. But his apparent guilt, his despair and his aversion to his fame soon led Lawrence to do something few other war heroes have ever done: reenlist in the military under an assumed name, as a private. Lawrence spent the last thirteen years of his life serving in the military, mostly as a mechanic in the Royal Air Force and stationed for many years in India.

T.E. Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident on May 13, 1935, shortly after retiring from the RAF. He was 46. Since the taking of Akaba, Lawrence had been prone to bouts of depression, and he was, characteristically, riding his motorcycle very fast. Despite these facts, no evidence has been found that he had committed suicide.

Colonel T.E. Lawrence, concerned that the old Colonial interests would supersede an Arab Syria, on the balcony of the Victoria Hotel in Damascus on October 3, 1918. He had just resigned his position in the Arab Army.
Image: 32 TEL
Image: 32 TEL
T.E. Lawrence leaving Bridlington on his discharge from the Royal Air Force. He cycled to his home in Dorset, where he tried to avoid the press and considered various literary projects. He was killed in a motorcycle accident three months later.
Image: 33 TEL
Image: 33 TEL