The Morris family

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On a tip from Liz Obi, I managed to track down Ms Yana Morris, Olive’s sister who works as a head teacher in South London. I made contact with her and sent her information about the project and this weblog. A few days later I received an email from Ms Jennifer Lewis, another of Olive’s sisters:

Dear Ana Laura,

My name is Jennifer and I am Olives other sister, I was pleased to hear of your intentions from Yana. Funnily enough my daughter Tamara had a similar idea some time ago and did try to contact Liz but to no avail. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the launch in the Minet library however my daughter will attend and I would be happy to contribute in any way I can.

At some stage our mother was actually asked to put some history of Olive’s life on paper, these we found when she passed away and perhaps these would be of use to you in your research?

It is a wonderful discovery to know there is an account of Olive’s story written by her own mother, and hopefully with permission of the family, we will be able to publish some of it in this weblog.

Ms Doris Morris was a steward with the TUC, and it would be also interesting to know whether Bill Morris is related to Olive’s family. (In 1991 Bill Morris became the first black General Secretary of a TUC affiliated union, the TGWU – Transport and General Workers’ Union.)

Errol Morris – Olive’s younger brother posted this tribute as a comment in the Contribute page:

As Olive’s younger brother, she was a key figure in our family setup.

For me she was an advisor as well as a sister with all kinds of problems I had in my life at that time. It was only when she died did I find out about all of her achievements which made me and the family proud. I do remember when I was young, my mum talking to my dad about Olive being arrested “again” for some demo only to be released without being charged, yet again, which made me feel stronger about fighting injustice throughout my life.

She was one of my role models and a good role model to women and all black people living in the UK. If young people knew Olives story, they would find it very interesting, sad, funny and entertaining. It took over 2 years to come to terms with olives death, but now i still feel her presence, watching me and when i pass Olive Morris House, Brixton, it reminds me that she made a difference to people, now my whole family try to do the same.



6 Responses to “The Morris family”

  1. July 13, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    my family and myself would like to thank everyone that took time out of there busy day to attend the olive morris rememberance afternooon on saturday the 12th july.
    hope we can all work together to keep her memories alive

    • January 24, 2019 at 12:35 am

      Hello Jennifer,
      I am a member of the Battersea Society and lead a walk entitled Notable Woman of Lavender Hill and am trying to find where on Lavender Hill Olive came to when they arrived in 1962 as I would dearly like to,include Olive amongst these inspiring women. We have our own Battersea Society commemorative plaque scheme and unveiled a plaque in 2018 to Caroline Ganley and Battersea Labour Party unveiled another to Charlotte Despard, socialist suffragette and Irish Nationalist on 14th December 2018 centenary of women getting the vote. I would want to nominate Olive for one but we would need to know the exact address on Lavender Hill. I expect it still exists as little has changed on Lavender Hill since I came to live here 55 years ago. I couldn’t find any electoral register entry for Olive’s parents in the Libray and would be very grateful if someone could let me know.

  2. 3 Vivian Lambert-Morris
    May 13, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Olive Morris is my Aunty who I never got to meet. My Father is Basil Morris Olives oldest sibling. I am so proud of her and inspired to learn these great things about her.

  3. November 28, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I would like to know what was the exact address of the Morris family in Lavender Hill in the sixties. I do a walk entitled Notable Women of Lavender Hill on behalf of the Battersea Society and would like to be able to add Olive to the list which includes socialists Charlotte Despard candidate in 1918 election and Caroline Ganley CBE and MP, first woman civil servant Jeanie Senior, Deaconess Gilmore etc.
    I know that Olive attended Lavender Hill Girls School. Any information about her Battersea years would be very helpful in celebrating the amazing, fearless and dedicated activist in the anti racist and squatting movements.
    My email is jeanne.rathbone@gmail.com

    • December 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Hello Jeanne

      We don’t have that particular information, but I suggest you visit the Olive Morris collection at Lambeth Archives, there are over 30 interviews recorded and transcribed with people who knew her (family and friends) and you might be able to find references there, also pictures and several materials that belonged to Olive. You could also try to find her sibilings, one of them Yana Morris used to be deputy head of Rushey Green primary school. Good luck with your search and do let us know if you manange to include this in your tour, we can publish something about it in the legacy section of the blog.

      • December 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

        Thank you for your response. I have asked around and found someone whose sister went to school with her. If need be I could check with her sister Yana who is, I think, Headteacher at Rushey Green School.
        I will let you know any further developments about remembering Olve.

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