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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 August, 2003, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Party for hero Lawrence
TE Lawrence
Lawrence always regarded himself as a Welshman
A party to celebrate Lawrence of Arabia's 115th birthday is being held at his Welsh birthplace this weekend.

The house in Tremadog, where TE Lawrence - the great romantic hero of the desert conflict in World War 1 - was born is now a cafe.

Its owners have thrown open the doors to the public by holding a party between 1100 BST and 1600 BST on Saturday.

Lawrence served as a British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of 1916-18. He died in a road accident in 1935 in Dorset whilst riding his beloved Brough motorcycle.

And one of those motorcycles will be on show at Café Lawrence thanks to its owner, Dolgellau-based enthusiast, Alan Wood.

The cafe is run by Carl Borum and Anja Grunert.

"Anja and myself are proud of the heritage that lies within our house and it is very important to both of us to keep the memory of Lawrence of Arabia alive." said Mr Borum.

George Brough and TE Lawrence
Lawrence's officer's cane can be spotted near the front mud-guard
" We want to make sure that younger generations know about him and his achievements. "

Members of the T E Lawrence Society will be sharing their expert knowledge and answer any questions members of the public may have.

"Lawrence owned six Brough Superior bikes during his lifetime and I will be displaying one of the same model at Tremadog," said Alan Wood, who is a vintage bike enthusiast.

"There is a famous picture of Lawrence with the bike's manufacturer, George Brough taken in about 1929 and if you look closely you can see his officer's cane having a special holder near the front mudguard.

The local WI and Tremadog Crafty Stitchers who will be selling their craft items will also be at the event.

And representatives of CADW Tremadog will provide information on the proposed renovation of the beautiful spired Saint Mary's Church at Tremadog.

Cafe Lawrence, Tremadog
The adventurous life of TE Lawrence began in Wales
Thomas Edward Lawrence was ranked number 53 in the UK National poll of the top one hundred greatest Britons held last year.

He was one of the most mysterious and glamorous figures of his time.

The man known as "Lawrence of Arabia" was born on 16 August 1888 and spent the first 18 months of his life in Wales as his parents were passing through from England to Ireland.

Although he left Wales at a very young age, it was reported that Lawrence once said he was "born a Welshman and would die a Welshman".

His exploits, as described in his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, inspired the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O'Toole.

Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole immortalised Lawrence on film
In the book, Lawrence - who was serving as a British liaison officer - described how he posed as an Arab to lead a rebellion in the Hejaz, now part of Saudi Arabia, against the ruling Turks in 1916.

He wrote of his capture by Turkish forces, of their failure to recognise him, and his stunning escape.

The War Office in London was gratified by the admiration he evoked amongst the public, but officials were also embarrassed by his ambiguous role.

Lawrence himself indicated he would prefer to be remembered as a writer than a man of action.




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