October 2008 10 members joined us for our autumnal run to Dorset.
The weather for the most part was cloudy and overcast; there was also a short
downpour. At about 4pm the sun finally came out and we all enjoyed the beautiful
autumn colours. Part of this trip was to visit the resting place of Lawrence
of Arabia in the small village of Moreton.
On 25 February 1935 Lawrence left his final RAF posting, at Bridlington, Yorkshire, and began his long journey back to Clouds Hill by bicycle. Persistent journalists soon invaded his privacy, despite his urgent appeals to be left alone.
In what would prove to be the last weeks of his life, his mood swung between optimism and pessimism. He was planning to revive a long-held ambition to set up a fine printing press, but he was also uncertain about the direction his life would now take.
On 13 May he rode his motorcycle down to Bovington Camp to send a telegram and post a parcel. On the way back he clipped the wheel of the bicycle of one of two errand boys who were riding towards Clouds Hill. He crashed heavily and was rushed to hospital with severe head injuries. He never regained consciousness and died on 19 May, to widespread grief and dismay, at the age of 46. His final resting place is the Dorset village of Moreton. Even in death, Lawrence tried to remain anonymous. Moreton Estate, which borders Bovington Camp, was owned by family cousins: the Frampton family. Lawrence rented and subsequently purchased Clouds Hill from the Framptons. He was a frequent visitor to their home at Okers Wood House, and he corresponded with Louisa Frampton for many years.
On his death, his mother wrote to the Framptons, and due to time constraints asked if there was space in their family plot at Moreton Church. Attenders included Sir Winston and Lady Churchill, and his coffin was transported on the Frampton estate bier.
of the group when to see either the small unusual church with its plain glass
engraved windows, the magnificent River/Ford or the grave of Lawrence, and
some had a drink in his old school house - now a cafe.
We arrived back at Lymington just in time to catch the 6.10pm Ferry.