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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Lawrence Symposium, St. John's College, Oxford, 23-25 September 2016

Next year the T.E. Lawrence Society holds its 14th Society Symposium at St. John's College, Oxford. It is also the centenary anniversary for the Arab Revolt. In recognition of the role played by Stewart Newcombe in the campaign I have been invited as a guest speaker to discuss the fascinating relationship between Lawrence and Newcombe before, during and after the Revolt. 

Also speaking will be Professor Ali Alawi, from Iraq, to talk about King Feisal and the Fall of the Ottoman Empire. His recent book on Feisal is the first complete biography of the man and the monarch who was a central player in the Revolt and the development of the Middle East after the war. 

Philip Walker will share his research on the Service and Intelligence Colleagues of Lawrence with many new insights into the Arab Revolt. A past speaker at the 2012 Symposium, Philip has recently written a book on those officers who slipped below the radar of historians, and whose role in helping safeguard and shape the Arab Revolt deserves to be celebrated as its centenary year in 2016 approaches.

Another speaker, Dr. David Murphy, also a speaker from past symposia, will present Colonel Joyce and Lawrence

John Alexander, from the RAF, will speak on T.E. Lawrence as a Proponent of Air Power.

Dr. Neil Faulkner from the Great Arab Revolt Project (GARP) military archaeological programme, which ended last year, will share the exciting discoveries and conclusions reached from many years' work on this project. 

With a few names still to be confirmed and announced it looks set to be a very interesting couple of days, with many new insights and research discoveries about Lawrence and his wartime activities and relationships. 

Members and non-members alike can attend the Symposium. If you wish to book a place contact the Society from their website at