Thursday, 10 June 2010

GODFREY RUNYARD age 104 - the Lawrence Link

Mr Godfrey Runyard (age 104) with his wife Cindy

Letter from Godfrey Runyard to AW dated 20th September 2009 (double click on letters to enlarge for reading) .
Even if Godfrey Runyard was just known for his great age of 104 alone he would still be regarded as a remarkable man. Godfrey is the oldest man alive who actually knew 'Lawrence of Arabia' or T.E. Shaw as he was then known. After Lawrence was killed in a motorcycling accident in May 1935, it was Godfrey who went to retrieve his motocycle from the accident site. He also was to help put Lawrence in his coffin ready for burial at Moreton cemetery in Dorset
Godfrey now lives in retirement in the town of Hemet, southern California with his wife Cindy.
When I was contemplting a long trip which would have involved a stay of six days in San Francisco I though it might be interesting to make contact with California Group members of the T.E. Lawrence Society. Carol Darbyshire, TEL Society newsletter editor, made me aware of Godfrey Runyard, oldest man alive who knew Lawrence, and thought there may be chance to visit Godfrey at his home in Hemet. However I found that Hemet is a long way from San Francisco. I wrote a letter to Godfrey about my proposed visit. It was like reaching out to history. Godfrey replied to me by letter on the 20th Septemer 2009 also sending a photo (see above). However my visit was to eventually fall through. I hope Godfrey is another Harry Patch and lives to be 110 or more.


  1. wow amazing he reached that age. how i wish me as well could reach that!

    Casa Mara Cartagena

  2. Hello, I am sorry to say Godfrey passed away in Feb 2010. He worked endlessly on his "movie" about Shaw and I am sure his son Michael continues to do so. Adrian Runyard, Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
    (Godfrey mentions his brother Frank in his letter, this was my Grandfather)

  3. Hello Adrian, it is good to hear from you, thanks for your comment. I didnt know Godfrey was working on a "movie".
    I like Kings Lynn. Ive been a couple of times, once to stop at the youth hostel and the second time to view the custom house. Regards Andrew