Ralph Morley, one of the town’s first two Labour Party MPs, was born in Chichester in 1882. He worked in Southampton as a teacher, and was later headteacher at Sholing Boys School. He became president of the National Union of Teachers. He and Tommy Lewis were elected to parliament in 1929, but lost their seats in 1931. Both returned to parliament in the Labour landslide of 1945. When the Southampton constituency was divided in 1950, Morley was elected for the new Southampton Itchen constituency, which he represented until his death in 1955. He was buried in South Stoneham cemetery. He is commemorated in Southampton schools by the Ralph Morley Essay Competition.

In Chapel and Northam: An oral history of Southampton's Dockland Communities, 1900-1945 (Sheila Jemima), one of the contributors remembers being taught by Morley. He used to bring in food for children who did not have enough - sandwiches, biscuits and chocolates - and stay behind after school to repair children's shoes.


Clippings:

Ralph Morley never spared himself in cause he followed (obituary) - (Southern Daily Echo, 15/06/1955)
Biographical account - (Dictionary of Labour Biography, Vol. VIII)


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