Morley Hall, Belgian Refugees
1915. This photograph shows Morley Hall in 1915 when it was accommodating 21 Belgian refugees who had fled the German advance into their country during 1914. Thousands of refugees fled to this country and most local authorities were asked to try and find some accommodation for them. It is unclear how Morley was able to use Morley Hall for this purpose. Morley Hall was once home to Mayor of Morley Oliver Scatcherd and his wife Alice Cliff Scatcherd. The house had become empty when Alice Cliff Scatcherd died at Christmas 1906 and it was bought to present to the town as a maternity home by Sir Charles Scarth in 1917, but what other use it had between 1906 and 1917 other than as living quarters for the refugees is not known. Alice Cliff Scatcherd was a leading suffragist in the Leeds, in 1872 she joined the Leeds Women's Suffrage Society and was active in meetings, canvassing and political education. In 1875 she helped to set up the Women's Trade Union League in Yorkshire, supporting a 6 week strike by women power loom weavers. Alice created controversy at the time by removing the word 'obey' from her wedding vows and refusing to wear a wedding ring. Photograph from the David Atkinson Archive.