There aren’t too many examples of two differently named Plymouth streets being named after the same person, and most involve individuals that were elevated to the peerage – Parker/Morley Pellew/Exmouth – in the recent developments at Mount Batten however there is another variation on this theme with Lawrence and Shaw. Thomas Edward (TE) Lawrence is better known to the world as Colonel Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia. Born in 1888 he went out to the middle east as an archaeologist after studying at Oxford and later when Turkey entered the First World War he was sent to Arabia he became guiding light in the Arab revolt that was protecting the right flank of the British advance into Syria.
Frustrated by the conclusions of the peace conference Lawrence changed his name first to Ross then to Shaw and tried to hide under his new identity as an Aircrafts man in the RAF. This brought him to then relatively newly established flying boat base at Mount Batten, and here despite his high profile friendships with George Bernard Shaw and Waldorf and Nancy Astor, and his love of driving fast motorboats and motorbikes he managed to keep a relatively low profile. He died in an accident on his high-powered Brough motorcycle, in Dorset, in 1935.