Celebrating 100 years of Moor Allerton School. 1914–2014

War Time Disruption

March 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Judith_Drever in 1930s | 1940s | Photo archive

In its century of existence, Moor Allerton has seen two World Wars. Opening in 1914 just after the outbreak of WW1, the first conflict seems to have had little direct effect on the school. With just seven pupils at opening, the school itself was able to operate as usual, whatever the effect upon the home and family life of individual pupils might have been.

 However this was not the case by the time WW2 came along.  When war broke out in 1939, Manchester Council requisitioned the school building, and moved all the income tax offices from the City Centre.

Moor Allerton School itself moved out to Pownall School, Wilmslow, with about 20 of the school’s senior boys, and from there moved again to a large house in Hayes Lane, Alderley Edge, with the boys as boarders. Finally, when most of these boys left to go on to their senior schools, the school was closed down for a while. The existing headteacher moved onto a preparatory school in Derbyshire, before returning once again when Moor Allerton re-opened in 1945.

The boards of School Captains for each year still displayed in the school, record these years simply with the words ‘The War’. A simple yet evocative statement of the disruption the school faced.

Captains Board

During the conflict, a number of past Moor Allerton pupils saw active service, including Captain Alec George Foucard of the Coldstream Guards, who was awarded the MC, and a further 8 who were killed in action. A service of remembrance for those killed was held at Christ Church, West Didsbury in July 1946.



At the end of hostilities a VE Day Message signed by King George VI was sent to all schoolchildren. It included key dates for the war on the back, and a space to fill in the details of ‘My Families War Record’. One of these is still preserved in the school archives.


Also preserved is a letter of thanks or appreciation from the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools to the women who had kept everything running at home while so many teachers were on active service – perhaps somewhat ironic in the case of a school like Moor Allerton which had to close.



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