The Motorcycling Legacy of T.E. Lawrence

AKA Lawrence of Arabia

T.E. Lawrence was one of histories fascinating figures: a scholar, archaeologist, soldier, leader, gentleman adventurer, writer and keen motorcyclist.      

Many people know of T.E. Lawrence and his exploits in the Middle East during World War I, but Lawrence's death left another legacy.

At the age of 46, two months after leaving military service, Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle close to his home. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control and was thrown over the handlebars.He died six days later on 19 May 1935.  

The circumstances of Lawrence's death had far-reaching consequences. One of the doctors attending him was the neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns. Cairns was profoundly affected by the incident, and consequently began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries. His research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists. 

T.E Lawrence was a fascinating person and for many reasons gets an invite to my Dinner Party from the Ages, along with two other flawed but great men, Winston Churchill and J.F. Kennedy. To round them out Oscar Wilde, (Lawrence doesn't need a female date, he was never really into women) Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart and... *cough*.... Elle McPherson. It's my dinner party and I can have who I want, okay?! Okay okay... Queen Victoria then.       

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