Almost hidden behind laurel bushes, yet only just off the main road near Bovington and some seven miles from Dorchester, is "The Cottage" where lived for the last years of his life that great Englishman, Lawrence of Arabia. The cottage was handed to the keeping of the National Trust by his family and to-day in the summer months, large numbers of visitors go to see this quiet retreat.

In the Parish of Moreton, the area is known as Clouds Hill and the only notice of direction to be found is a War Department notice at a junction of the A.352 road and the road to Bovington Camp, which reads: "Lawrence of Arabia’s Cottage. Tanks SLOW 5 m.p.h."

The cottage is certainly not outstanding for itself. Over the door in Greek is inscribed "Nothing Matters" reflecting perhaps, Lawrence’s feelings at the time of the first war, when he felt disheartened and frustrated.

Thomas Edward Lawrence was a friend of the great, he was a genius and, therefore, as is often the case was in many ways a strange man. Yet, he will be remembered chiefly as one who served his country in time of great need and for a long time to come, men and women will make a pilgrimage to his grave at Moreton and to this cottage.

A fine scholar in languages and a learned archaeologist, he traveled the Near East extensively prior to the 1914 war. He was forever restless but when war did break out, he attached himself to the Arab peoples with the dream that they would become united. At first his unorthodox ways were frowned upon by the Allied Commanders but due largely to the influence of Lord Allenby, he was allowed to proceed in his own way, eventually emerging as a leader of the Arabian Levies which routed the Turkish Army. The war over, Lawrence was appointed a Political Adviser to the Middle East but the dis­appointments he met with made him yearn for solitude and peace. He asked only anonymity, which he endeavored to secure as Aircraftsman Shaw of the Royal Air Force. He recounted his Arabian exploits in "The Seven Pillars of Wis­dom" and his Air Force days in "The Mint".

Lawrence purchased the cottage at Moreton, where he lived in Spartan simplicity with his secretary. Quite plain and occupying an area of only 60 by 30 feet, it is open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m. in the summer months. The key is obtainable from the house on the opposite side of the road. There are a number of interesting personal relics to be seen.

His restless spirit craved speed and to this end he rode a powerful motor-cycle. Coming through the Dorsetshire lanes in 1935, he collided with a cyclist. It was found that he had suffered a fractured skull and he died five days afterwards without regaining consciousness.

Lawrence was undoubtedly one of the great figures who came into prominence in the First Great War. He was buried in the little cemetery at Moreton a few miles away, the King of Iraq attending the funeral. His coffin was inscribed: - ’To T.E.L. who should sleep among Kings.'

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