WWI commemoration – T E Lawrence

I rather like Douglas Adams’ take on the famous LP Hartley quote about the past. Adams said, regarding time travel, “The past is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same there.”

It never ceases to surprise me how things we think are modern phenomena simply aren’t. The media circus surrounding public figures is a case in point. TE Lawrence suffered terribly at the hands of media intrusion; he couldn’t even move into his cottage, Clouds Hill, when he finally left the RAF because of pressmen camped out there. He had to pull strings with his influential connections get a stop put to it.

The papers were obsessed with finding out where he was and what he was up to in his career, publishing their usual mixture of truth and lie(for example implying that he was doing nothing much in the way of proper duties) and making plenty of problems for the man. He had to leave his first RAF posting when he was ‘outed’ and was sent home from duties in India when the press suggested he’d been involved in an uprising in a neighbouring area.

Plus ca change?

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