Tribute to Lawrence of Arabia

On 18th and 19th May 2015 there three special events were held at Tremadog paying tribute to Lawrence of Arabia. Timed to commemorate the death of the village’s most famous son, 80 years before that date. This celebration of a local Welsh hero was attended by many people, local and from far afield. Special guest of honour was Falklands Veteran Simon Weston OBE.

The events were:- A Lecture by Robert Morris on the life of T.E. Lawrence in Welsh (with English translation) at the Tremadog Institute. Unveiling by Simon Weston OBE of a commemorative plaque to mark the 80th anniversary of T. E. Lawrence’s death, event held at Tŷ Lawrence (Snowdon Lodge). Launch of the book ‘T.E. Lawrence and the Red Sea Patrol’ by John Johnson Allen at St Mary’s Church Tremadog.

“Commemorating T E Lawrence’s death represented a valued opportunity to re-affirm Tremadogs’ close connection to a man from the village who became a household name throughout the world for his wartime exploits in the Middle East and his literary works”, says Carl Borum, co-owner of Snowdon Lodge the birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia,

Anja Borum, co-owner of Snowdon Lodge lead the formal commemoration and tribute to Lawrence of Arabia with an introduction in Welsh and English, followed by the Falkland Veteran Simon Weston OBE who gave an enlightened speech and unveiled a commemorative plaque on the round tree bench. At 11.05 the RAF saluted Lawrence of Arabia by flying over at 500 feet in a Hawk 2T from IV squadron RAF Valley. Representation from the Royal Air Force with Squadron Leader (retired) Gareth Llewellyn, from the Army Lt Col SO1 MCI, Patrick J Norrington-Davies, 160th Infantry Brigade and from the Coast Guard Derek Roberts.  The local Tremadog school choir preformed 2 songs for the attendee’s which totaled around 90 people.

Tŷ Lawrence stayed open to the public until 2pm on the day for a rare opportunity to visit the Birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia and preview the maquette of a proposed life-sized bronze statue of Lawrence of Arabia.  The maquette has been created by internationally renowned sculptor David Williams-Ellis and the life size statue is proposed for erection at Snowdon Lodge as part of a Lawrence of Arabia Exhibition.  Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.

At 12.00 noon the proceedings moved to the nearby St Mary’s Church in Tremadog for a further tribute to Lawrence of Arabia and the book launch of “T.E. Lawrence and the Red Sea Patrol” by John Johnson Allen, that depicts, for the first time, the naval involvement in the Lawrence story.

The commemorative activities ended on the Monday evening, May 18th, with a lecture on the life of T.E. Lawrence by the former Dean of Humanities at Bangor University and renowned historian, Robert Morris. The lecture was in Welsh with simultaneous translation facilities. The lecture was followed by a showing of a television programme on the life and times of Lawrence of Arabia.

The event attracted television and radio coverage with live link ups with the BBC, ITV and S4C.