Colonel Stewart Francis Newcombe was already a legend in the deserts of Arabia before he was joined in Cairo during the early months of the First World War by a group of extraordinary specialists in Middle Eastern affairs. One member of this group was T.E. Lawrence who went on to achieve worldwide fame. Colonel Newcombe's story, like those of other unsung figures in the Anglo-Arabian panoply, has been eclipsed by the legend of ´Lawrence of Arabia´, and has languished in the dusty recesses of regimental records, government files or in the elliptical words of Lawrence’s book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. However, S.F. Newcombe´s untold story is there to be told. IN THE SHADOW OF THE CRESCENT is a story of extraordinary exploits and courage, coupled with Newcombe's own legendary and inexhaustible supply of energy and of remarkable adventures under the very noses of the Ottoman authorities – full of danger, intrigue and perhaps more surprisingly, of romance during Newcombe's captivity in Turkey.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Welcome to the first blog on my forthcoming biography of Colonel Stewart Francis Newcombe, R.E., D.S.O, entitled In the Shadow of the Crescent. In the coming weeks and months I will add to this blog items of interest relating to the progress of the book and to any significant research discoveries.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Webber,

Having spent years exploring and researching the Hijaz Valley in Saudia Arabia and being aware of Newcombe's exploits, if not the extent of his activities, I look forward to this much needed exposé on Newcombe that I hope will place him in his rightful niche in the history of the Arabian continent. I look forward to the book with great interest. It may interest you to know that as a small effort to create awareness of the historical events that have affected current politics in the Middle East, my wife, children and I give lectures in the local schools on the Arabian Culture including many photographs that we took of sites on the Hejaz Railway.

Good luck and best regards,
A.J. Dampier
P.S. It is of interest that Lowell Thomas's descendents live in Alaska


Dear Mr Dampier,
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. You and your adventurous family certainly seem to thrive in extreme conditions, or as Lawrence once put it, "this alternate frizzle and freeze". Please keep popping back to this blog as I will endeavour to update it on a regular basis with items that may be of interest to you and your audience, who I am sure benefit greatly from your "on the spot" knowledge and experience.

soft said...

Dear Mr. Webber,

Colonel Stewart F Newcombe would be but a memory without the new book your writing, I look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

The additional information on your blog is most interesting indeed!

Fun Joel said...

Hi there! Found your blog while searching for info on Newcombe's mapping of the British-French Mandate borders in the north of Palestine (between current day Israel and Lebanon/Syria).

If you have any good resources on this, I'd love to hear it! Thanks.