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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lawrence Symposium, Oxford 2016

Kerry presenting his paper 'Beyond Arabia' to the symposium

The 14th T.E. Lawrence Symposium at St. John's College, Oxford University, which ended on Sunday 25 September 2016, was a great success with interesting and entertaining papers presented by a diverse range of speakers from around the world. Attendance was, I understand, the highest ever for such an event - about 150 per session - and thanks must go to the hard working group of volunteers that form the committee of the society.

St. John's College, Oxford University

Once again, thanks to the chairman of the society, Philip Neale, and his committee for inviting me. It is always a pleasure meeting old friends and making new contacts in such convivial surroundings. I would also like to especially thank Joe Berton and Philip Walker to allow me to use previously unseen photos of Newcombe in my presentation.