The life of T. E. Lawrence is a fascinating one, so I was pleased to finally visit his Dorset country cottage that he used as a refuge from the rest of the world. It is very near to the Bovington Army Camp where he was serving. He often slept in barracks but used the cottage during the day to read, write and entertain guests. It was on the road between Clouds Hill and the camp that he had his fatal motorcycle accident.
I was pleased to see the Henry Scott Tuke painting of Lawrence tying up his webbing after a swim near Falmouth. The guide in the room told me that the painting is more properly called ‘A Cadet on Newporth Beach’ which may mean that it wasn’t actually Lawrence at all, although the likeness suggests it is. In any case, it was presented to the National Trust by Lawrence’s brother. The Clouds Hill property was also donated to the Trust by A W Lawrence, after his brother’s death.
They also had a reproduction of the Augustus John pencil portrait that was used in some editions of ‘The Seven Pillars of Wisdom’.