Tracking Lawrence of Arabia 100 years on
Visitors to Clouds Hill this season will be able to track the journeys of T.E. Lawrence in the deserts of Arabia, during the final year of the First World War. Each month a new leaflet is being given out free with admission, outlining the plans, thoughts and journeys of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ during that particular month in 1918.
It was in this year, 100 years ago, that the Arab and Allied armies, with Lawrence alongside them, fought their way towards their ultimate goal, Damascus, finally capturing it from the Turkish army in October. It was during this time that the legend of Lawrence of Arabia was born.
It was also the hardships, stress and sudden set-backs of this period, combined with feelings of guilt around what he saw as the betrayal of the Arab cause by the Allied armies and politicians, which eventually led to Lawrence’s nervous breakdown; a breakdown that brought him in due course to seek solitude at Clouds Hill.
"For a year and half I had been in motion..." Find out where Lawrence was in March.
Unaware of how badly things were going elsewhere, Lawrence set out to fulfill his part of Allenby's plan. Discover where the great man was in April.
In Spring 1918 both the main British Forces, near the coast of Jerusalem, and the Arab forces had stalled, and were making little or no progress. Where was Lawrence in the month of May?
By June, the German 'Spring Offensive' on the Western Front was faltering and Lawrence moved towards Hesa, and then on to Sultani to see for himself the Arab successes.
As victory in Europe becomes a possibility, Britain wrestles with its
war aims. In Palestine, Allenby and Lawrence use deception to keep
the Ottomans guessing about their intended next moves.
General Allenby plans a September offensive while Lawrence struggles between
two masters, admitting in Seven Pillars to playing a devious game. Read more about Lawrence's movements in August.
General Allenby launches his final battle to drive the Ottomans out of northern
Palestine, with Lawrence and the Arab forces co-operating in a tightly integrated plan.
Damascus falls on 1 October 1918. Lawrence, after wrestling with the difficulties of post-War governance in Damascus for three days, persuades Allenby to let him return to London to lobby for the Arab cause.