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"'Don't forget me', he cried, as if I ever would. The man was a hero even then."
Indiana Jones on Lawrence in 1908[src]

Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, best known as T. E. Lawrence, was a British soldier and liaison during the Arab Revolt. He was known as Ned to his friends and family, and grew in celebrity as "Lawrence of Arabia" during World War I.

In 1908, Lawrence met and befriended a young Indiana Jones. He helped pique the boy's interest in archaeology and the two maintained written correspondence with each other over subsequent years as their respective paths in life crossed on occasion.

BiographyEdit

As a child, Thomas Edward Lawrence developed a passion for chivalry and the Crusades.[4] He often visited England's Crusader castles, often by bicycle, living off the land and with what little money he had with him.[3]

Lawrence later attended Jesus College, Oxford.[5] He met Oxford tutor Miss Helen Seymour during a lecture on Persian poetry,[6] and, for a time, studied with and under her.[1][7][8]

Lawrence-0

Lawrence in 1908.

In 1908, Lawrence viewed the Crusader castles in Ottoman-held Syria.[5] While in the Middle East, he decided to visit his archaeologist friend Rasheed Sallam in Egypt.[6]

As he cycled through the country, Lawrence happened upon Miss Seymour and her newest pupil Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. at the Great Pyramids having been abandoned by their guide. Meeting Jones, Lawrence recognized his name, and revealed that he was a fan of his father's books. Lawrence asked to be called Ned, and the two became friends. That night, Lawrence discussed world religions with Jones and told him ghost stories of mummies awakening in the pyramids.[5]

The next day, Lawrence arranged for Indy and Miss Seymour to join him at his friend's archaeological dig led by Howard Carter. On the trip up the Nile River, Ned impressed upon Indy the importance of learning local languages when traveling. At the dig site, Lawrence introduced Indy and Miss Seymour to Carter, and enlisted Indy's help in uncovering Demetrios as the murderer of Rasheed Sallam for the Jackal headpiece at the tomb of Kha.[5] Although Lawrence was able to track down Demetrios before he got away, the murderer still escaped with the artifact as he'd already hidden it before the two briefly fought each in the desert.[9] Later in life, Indy told it differently, stating that Lawrence had missed Demetrios' ship by five minutes.[5]

Afterwards, Lawrence kept his promise to write to the younger Jones and the two exchanged letters over many years. Indy kept a photographs of Ned from their 1908 meeting in his journal.[5][2]

In 1909, Lawrence further indulged his interest in the Crusades by traveling 1,100 miles through Syria and Palestine on foot to survey the castles. Throughout his journey, however, he began learning the customs and the way of life of the native Arab people.[4]

After his schooling, Lawrence joined an archaeological dig in Syria.[3] During three years working at Karkamesh,[4] Lawrence was in a better position to understand the Arabs' plight under Ottoman control: any individual attempt to rebel was punished with massacre of the entire village where the insurgent was caught.[3] Reinforced by his own romanticized, idealized view of the desert Bedouin,[4] he gravitated towards leading a crusade of his own: to see Arabia free of foreign domination.[3]

In October 1917, when the British and Australian forces were unable to take Ottoman-held Gaza, Major Lawrence recommended Jones, then serving in French intelligence, as a suitable agent fluent in Arabic and Turkish for a British spy mission. Lawrence and Jones were re-united at the British camp in Palestine for a few days before Jones left on his mission to Beersheba, and Lawrence returned to Arabia.[10]

Lawrence and Faisal

Lawrence and Faisal.

In May 1919, the friends crossed paths again in France during the Paris Peace Conference attempting to persuade the British and French forces to keep their promises to Prince Faisal. He also served as his translator.[11]

Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident in 1935.[1]

LegacyEdit

Indiana Jones would remember Lawrence with fondness throughout the rest of his years.[5] In 1941, while strolling on the busy streets of Mérida, Jones remembered his childhood adventures with Lawrence and felt that Lawrence would have been a valuable compadre.[12]

Years after Lawrence's death, a movie was made about his life.[8]

Behind the scenesEdit

Two different actors portrayed T. E. Lawrence in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; the late Joseph Bennett played Lawrence in Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal (now part of My First Adventure), and Douglas Henshall played Lawrence in "Paris, May 1919" (now part of Winds of Change) and "Palestine, October 1917" (now expanded into Daredevils of the Desert).

The movie about the soldier's life described in the Egypt, May 1908 comic, was released in 1962, titled Lawrence of Arabia. It was directed by David Lean and starred Peter O'Toole as Ned.

In Curse of the Jackal, Lawrence alludes to the fact that he likes to make up stories. In real life, it is thought by some that Lawrence exaggerated some of the stories in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

Many of Lawrence's exploits were covered by journalist Lowell Thomas, whom Indy meets in Tales of Innocence. Upon hearing that Indy was a friend of Lawrence, Thomas shows keen interest in knowing more about him.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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