Morris served in World War II in the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers, and later wrote for The Times. As The Times correspondent Morris scored a notable scoop in 1953 when accompanying the British expedition which was first to scale Mount Everest. Morris reported the success of Hillary and Tenzing in a coded message to the newspaper which by happy coincidence was released on the morning of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
Reporting from Cyprus on the Suez Crisis for The Manchester Guardian in 1956, Morris produced the first “irrefutable proof” of collusion between France and Israel in the invasion of Egyptian territory, interviewing French Air Force pilots who confirmed that they had been in action in support of Israeli forces.
Morris was assigned male at birth, and before circa-1970 was known as “James Morris”. In 1949, as James, Morris married Elizabeth Tuckniss, the daughter of a tea planter. Morris and Tuckniss had five children together, including the poet and musician Twm Morys. One of their children died in infancy. As Morris documented in her memoir Conundrum, she began taking estrogen to feminise her body in 1964. In 1972, she had sex reassignment surgery in Morocco. Sex reassignment surgeon Georges Burou did the surgery, since doctors in Britain refused to allow the procedure unless Morris and Tuckniss divorced, something Morris was not prepared to do at the time. They divorced later, but remained together and have now had a civil union. On May, 14th, 2008, Morris and Tuckniss remarried each other. Morris lives mostly in Wales, where her parents were from.