|Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle ridden by T.E. Lawrence to his death.|
It is on display, not much the worse for wear, under glass at the Imperial War Museum in London. My wife Bonnie and I came across it separately during our visit to the museum this month.
The museum had a full exhibit devoted to Lawrence of Arabia in 2005-'06. That only exists online now, but the Brough, privately owned, is on display. It is dramatically displayed. In fact, it looks almost regal through polished double doors.
|Lawrence's Brough is dramatically, perhaps reverently, displayed.|
He rode the Brough that fine spring morning to send a telegram and post a parcel. On the way back he encountered two errand boys and clipped the wheel of one of their bicycles.
The resulting crash left Lawrence in a coma from which he did not awake. He was 46.
|The Brough Superior is often called the Rolls Royce of motorcycles.|
Lawrence loved his, owning a total of seven in turn, and referring to each as "Boanerges" (Sons of Thunder). "The Road," his stirring account of racing his motorcycle against a fighter plane, can be read online.
Seeing his final machine in the Imperial War Museum, preserved like a reliquary in a cathedral, is a bit chilling.
|Battle of Britain Spitfire and Focke Wulf duel in the sky inside the Imperial War Museum.|
|A look into the empty turret of Monty's tank. The round floor of the turret|
is at bottom; through the opening the tank's main gun is seen, mounted in its sponson.
|The mighty Boanerges is not a timid man's motorcycle.|