The Startling Assertions of the Reverend W. J. Morrison 28th March 1915 - St Peter's Church Abbeydale Sheffield

St Peter's Church at Machon Bank Abbeydale Sheffield no longer exists - it was demolished in 2003 (after a history of 108 years). But on 29th March 1915 the Rev. W. J. Morrison delivered a sermon from the pulpit of the church which carried grave allegations against women who were "left at home" whilst their men-folk were serving king and country. He stated that "some" (But thankfully not all) were "spending their allowances on dissipation, idleness and loose-living." Sadly neither the newspaper report or the Rev. Morrison provide evidence to substantiate this claim but it is clear that he thinks that women are not being faithful.  



The Sheffield Daily Independent 29th March 1915

But the Rev. Morrison not content with lambasting the morals of some women who stayed at home, then accuses the British army of running brothels at Redmires for members of the Sheffield City Battalion. In the evenings the camp at Redmires became "the rendezvous for base women and prostitutes". Again the Rev. Morrison does not offer any evidence as to the extent of this unwholesome behaviour but when he thought of it, it "pained him". He concluded his talk on morality be referring to the stirring attributes of Lord Kitchener (a man who according to one historian never loved a woman) and condemned the utterances of another British commander who stated that being courteous to women was "contrary to the welfare of the army." A rather bewildering statement!.

But it is not surprising that the Reverend Morrison was concerned with the morals of the day. Older readers of this site may remember an article I posted many years ago about a "curate's intrigue" with a parishioners daughter. The curate in question was the Rev John Raper and he was assistant to the Rev. Morrison at St Peter's Church. His "familiarity" with the 17 year old Alice Kendrick and his subsequent actions caused a sensation in both the local and national press. It appears that this close personal encounter with immorality was excluded from his sermon.   


The Sheffield Daily Independent 29th March 1915

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This page was last updated on 18/11/16 17:44