As 2014 sees the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, the Observer & Advertiser will be bringing you stories of soldiers fighting on enemy lines, how townsfolk united on the home front and how Morley-born Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith led a country to war.
Britain declared war with Germany on August 4 1914. A brief report in the Morley Observer dated August 7 1914 read: “Mr Asquith on Tuesday informed the House of Commons that Great Britain had demanded from Germany an assurance within 12 hours that Belgian neutrality would be respected. He added that a message had been received from the Belgian Legation in London to the effect that their territory has been violated and that German troops were penetrating still further into Belgium.
The German reply received at the War Office on Tuesday night was considered unsatisfactory and Great Britain formally declared war against Germany as from 11’o’clock that night.”
Just two days later a special meeting was held by Morley Town Council, led by the Mayor Coun Brian Barker, to ‘consider the advisability of forming a committee for the administration of relief to persons who may be in distress owing to the war.’
The opening of Lewisham Park was postponed, it was reported the railway tunnels and air shafts in Morley and district were being guarded day and night and a War Office official was in the town claiming horses and harness for the use of the Government during the war. An Army officer and veterinary surgeon were on hand to buy a number of horses after examination in the Hope Mill yard.
Work at certain mills was suspended due to merchants cancelling orders until the end of the war and there were reports of pressure on food supplies and the rise in prices.
* Do you know a story from Morley during the 1914-1918 war? Maybe one of your relatives was a soldier or have an interesting story about the town. Call us on 0113 2523456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories.