The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0108 Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Date: March 12, 2013 9:45:03 PM EDT
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER: Lawrence of Arabia
“T. E. Shaw, better known by his nom de guerre, Lawrence of Arabia”
Actually, this has it backwards. Thomas Edward Lawrence changed his name to “Shaw” in 1923 in order to join the Royal Tank Corps after his WWI exploits (assisted by Lowell Thomas) made him famous. He had retired to England after the War as a full colonel, but sought to return to the military in 1922. Lawrence used a different false name to join the RAF in 1922, but was forced out after the deception was exposed.
The surname “Lawrence” was that of his mother’s father. Both T.E. Lawrence and his mother were illegitimate. His natural father was Thomas R. T. Chapman, Bt.