Cookie policy: on www.castlehillpress.com we use analytics cookies to understand how visitors use the site. The anonymous information they provide suggests improvements and alerts us to technical errors. For more information, see our cookies page, which also explains how to block or remove cookies.  Search Castle Hill Press

CATALOGUE

 Untitled 1

Works

Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
Paperback edition
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence

Translation

The Forest Giant

Letters

Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Correspondence with E. M. Forster and F.L. Lucas
More Correspondence with Writers
Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
Translating the Bruce Rogers 'Odyssey'
Correspondence with the Political Elite 1922-1935

FULL CATALOGUE

Check for programme updates on our News page

Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula

Compiled by T. E. Lawrence, November 1914

First edition for public circulation, Castle Hill Press, 2008
Edition of 227 numbered copies


By the autumn of 1914, T. E. Lawrence and Leonard Woolley had completed The Wilderness of Zin – an archaeological report on their findings during a visit to the Sinai Peninsula the previous winter.

Though Britain was now at war, there was a glut of volunteers and Lawrence had been unable to enlist. If Turkey sided with Germany, his knowledge of the Middle East would be useful - but during the early autumn Turkey remained neutral. He was offered temporary work in the Egyptian and Assyrian Department at the British Museum.

On 21 October, with the help of D.G. Hogarth, he joined the Geographical Section of the General Staff. He spent the next few weeks at the War Office in Whitehall, first as a civilian and then as a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant-Interpreter.

One of the section's urgent projects was to complete a set of 1/125,000 maps of northern Sinai. They incorporated survey work by the party of Royal Engineers that Lawrence and Woolley had accompanied in Sinai. Lawrence was given the task of helping to prepare these maps.

When Turkey entered the war he expected an immediate posting to Cairo, but his commitments at GSGS took priority. In mid-November he wrote: 'I was to have gone to Egypt on Sat last: only the G.O.C. there wired to the W.O. and asked for a road-report on Sinai that they were supposed to have.

'Well, of course they hadn't got it – not a bit of it. So they came to me, and said "write it".'

The report was to cover the whole of northern Sinai. Lawrence had seen only part of that area during the Wilderness of Zin expedition: 'So I'm writing a report from the military point of view of a country I don't know, and haven't visited yet. One of the minor terrors is, that later on I'm to get my own book, and guide myself over the country with it. It will be a lesson in humility, I hope.

'It's rather hard luck though, to have devilled my way all over Sinai, and then to have to write two books about it, gratis. And this second one is an awful sweat, for it has to be done against time, and the maps are not yet drawn. So I have to oversee them also, and try and correlate the two.'

The new project involved producing a concise account of each route through northern Sinai, using travellers' reports and military surveys. Lawrence extracted facts and wrote précis of descriptions, noting distances, water supplies, and the physical difficulty of the routes.

The source material was in files and printed publications at the War Office, the Royal Geographical Society, and the offices of the Palestine Exploration Fund. But it was no small task to collate and edit the information into a 190-page book. To get it finished Lawrence had to work far into the night. On 21 November he wrote 'I am to stay here another week... there is so much Sinai stuff in hand that I am quite glad.' He finally left for Egypt on 9 December.

The area of Northern Sinai covered by the report extends from the Suez Canal in the west to the Wadi Araba in the east, and from Port Said, Rafa and Beersheba in the north to Suez, Themed and Akaba in the south. This rectangle of desert was of great concern to the British Headquarters in Egypt. Any Turkish force mounting an attack on the Suez Canal would have to cross it – as would any British advance into Palestine.

Lawrence's Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula was printed in 1914 as a classified GSGS pocket-book. Very few copies are known to survive. Our printing is the first since 1914 and the first that is available to the public. We have modernised the typesetting house-style and corrected a considerable number of editing and typesetting errors in the hurried 1914 edition (for example, sequence errors in an alphabetical list).

The Military Report  is a significant addition to our scholarly texts of Lawrence's works and correspondence.

In the event, Lawrence did cross the area covered by the report. In the summer of 1917 he travelled from Akaba to Suez carrying news of the capture of Akaba. Then, in February 1918, he crossed from the Wadi Araba to British headquarters at Beersheba. At the time, he was convinced that his role in the Arab Revolt had ended. The report, one of his first military tasks, was therefore linked to two wartime episodes of high drama.

 


SPECIFICATION

Edition of 227 numbered copies, of which 190 are for sale.

Trimmed page-size 282 x 200 mm.

176 pages. 2 folding maps.

Designed and typeset in Caslon by Castle Hill Press. Printed on high-quality paper.


Quarter-goatskin binding

ISBN: 9781873141021

150 copies (numbered 41-190) bound in quarter beige goatskin with cream canvas sides; head and tail bands, place-mark ribbon.

Maps:

1) Facsimile of the 1915 War Office 1:1,000,000 key map to the series of 125:000 maps of Sinai to which this report refers. This key map shows the routes described in the report. 

2) Facsimile of the Wadi Jerafi sheet from the 1915 War Office 1:125,000 series to which this guide refers. This Wadi Jerafi sheet covers the south-east corner of the area surveyed in 1914. In the south it includes the Nagb el Akaba and Akaba itself (though the area close to Akaba could not be surveyed). In the north it extends to Kuntilla. 

Issued in a rigid cloth-covered slip-case


Full goatskin binding 

ISBN: 9781873141038

Military report on the Sinai Peninsila

 

This issue contains an additional map.

40 copies (numbered 1-40) bound in full beige goatskin. All edges gilt, head and tail bands, place-mark ribbon, hand-marbled endpapers.  Issued in a slip-case.

Maps:

1) Facsimile of the 1915 War Office 1:1,000,000 key map to the series of 125:000 maps of Sinai to which this report refers. This key map shows the routes described in the report. 

2) Facsimile of the Wadi Jerafi sheet from the 1915 War Office 1:125,000 series to which this guide refers. This Wadi Jerafi sheet covers the south-east corner of the area surveyed in 1914. In the south it includes the Nagb el Akaba and Akaba itself (though the area close to Akaba could not be surveyed). In the north it extends to Kuntilla. 

3) Facsimile of the El Mayein sheet from the 1915 War Office 1:125,000 series to which this guide refers. This sheet covers the Turkish frontier area immediately north of the Wadi Jerafi sheet above.

 

Maps 

Map 

 


 

Thirty-seven copies are reserved


CONTENTS

List of the sections and routes described

To ask us a question,  click here >>


We accept payment by PayPal, Mastercard and Visa (via Paypal 'guest' service), or sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank