Geoffrey Clifton

Table of Contents




of the Desert

The British Empire



The Film (IMdb)

"A young man named Geoffrey Clifton had met a friend at Oxford who mentioned what we were doing...." - Almasy

...He contacted me, got married the next day, and two weeks later flew with his wife to Cairo. They were on the last days of their honeymoon. That was the beginning of our story...


I liked his youth more than the eagerness of his new young wife. He was our pilot, messenger, reconnaissance. He was the New Age, flying over and dropping codes of long coloured ribbon to advise us where we should be.


He shared his adoration of her constantly... Clifton celebrated the beauty of her arms, the thin lines of her ankles. He described witnessing her swim. He spoke about the new bidets in the hotel suite. Her ravenous hunger at breakfast...

"Geoffrey is not actually a buffoon..."


"Geoffrey has planned
a party for you.
He's writing a song
and wants me to
read a poem..."


"Are you listening, Geoffrey?"

"Yes, my darling."

"He said to Gyges: "Gyges, I think that you do not believe me when I tell you of the beauty of your wife, for it happens that men's ears are less apt of belief than their eyes. Contrive therefore by which you may look upon her naked."

....Not a buffoon

These three pictures thanks to Meluchie



Clifton walked toward us holding out the flask, and we all sipped the warm alcohol. He was one for ceremonies. He had named his plane Rupert Bear. I don't think he loved the desert, but he had an affection for it that grew out of awe at our stark order, into which he wanted to fit himself -- like a joyous undergraduate who respects silent behaviour in a library." - Almasy





"Geoffrey Clifton was with British Intelligence. He was not an innocent Englishman, I'm afraid. As far as the English were concerned, he was keeping an eye on your strange group in the Egyptian-Libyan desert. They knew the desert would someday be a theatre of war." - Caravaggio

"He will go mad."

"I was there when you met Geoffrey Clifton at 2 A.M. in the Oxford Union Library. Everyone's coats were strewn on the floor, and you in your bare feet like some heron picking your way among them. He is watching you, but I am watching you too, though you miss my presence, ignore me. You are at an age when you see only good-looking men..."
  "There are three of us in the Oxford Union Library, but you find only Geoffrey Clifton. It will be a whirlwind romance. He has some job with archaeologists in North Africa, of all places. "A strange old coot I'm working with." You mother is quite delighted at your adventure." - Almasy