Soham Grammarians - Stanley Morley c1918

Sarah Morley writes (Dec 2005) : One of my aunts has just unearthed a photo of my grandfather, Stanley Philip Morley (born Aug 1906), in what we think might be a Soham Grammar School cap. He certainly went to Soham Grammar School.

The photo was not much bigger than postage-stamp-sized and dark with age. I have lightened, enlarged and restored it to the best of my ability with Photoshop. It's certainly a vast improvement, but the cap badge is still not much more than a blur and thus difficult to compare it with early photos on your site ... !

The family would love to see a school photo that contained Stan - if such a thing existed [Ed - we do not have one but live in hope!]. My father, James Morley, was also a Soham Grammarian (1947) - he has already been in contact with you and has helped with photo IDs. He doesn't recognise the cap badge as being a Soham one, but then, it may have been a different design in the earlier years.

I'd hazard a guess that my grandad was about 12 in this picture, which would put the date around 1918 - and that his stepmum wasn't quite sure where to stop when she knitted his jumper!

Stanley Philip Morley was born 23 Aug 1906 in Fordham, Cambs, youngest child of Charles Morley of Fordham (a nurseryman of some note) and Mary Brown of Snailwell (who sadly died of pneumonia when Stan was a babe in arms). I am not sure if Stan's elder brothers, Cyril and Rowland, also attended Soham Grammar School, but would be interested to find out.

Both of these older boys went on to join the Royal Navy, with Rowland dying aged 20 following appendicitis whilst in the South China Seas - just one day before Stan's 16th birthday. Eldest brother Cyril left the Navy to help his father start their nursery business. Stan also joined the family business and the two brothers ran things when Charles Morley took sick at the end of 1936. Cyril and Stan took over the business on Charles' death from heart disease in 1942.

In 1929 Stan married Doris May Fordham of Soham. They made their home in Fordham, first living in one of the Bland Villas terraced houses in Mill Lane, then building a large detached home in the same road. They had five children: Dick, Roly, James, Marie and Josie. Dick joined the family nursery business, Roly spent his entire working life as a Baker at Exning Bakeries and James (a Soham Grammarian) after a time in the Royal Air Force joined the Cambs Constabulary.

Stan was a keen bowls player and was the Captain of Fordham Bowls Club for 27 years, retiring at the age of 72. He won the singles title 11 times and the pairs 6 (with wife Doris) and could have played for the county but was not interested as he said he was always kept too busy with work to fit it in.

Unfortunately, not long after his retirement from the Captaincy of the Bowls Club, Stan suffered a debilitating stroke. This very much frustrated such an active man and gave him poor quality of life throughout the years before his death at the age of 83 in 1989. He was buried in St Peter's Churchyard, Fordham, in a plot chosen for its close proximity to the land that was once owned and worked by Stan.

Stan is still very much missed by his family and those who knew him. He was kindly, laughed readily and was a real country gent.

If you can help the Morley family please contact the editor.

images: Sarah Morley
page last updated 21 Dec 2005