Refugees who arrived in the region were accommodated in the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Family. The refugees often told the most terrible stories, causing anxious parents to remove their children from the school. On Schuwe Maandag, German soldiers settled into the church, the monastery and some houses. Doors and windows were smashed, liquor and valuables stolen.
German troops invaded the convent of Moorslede when they noticed the light was on in the chapel tower. Expecting to find British soldiers or spies hidden in the monastery, they threatened the abbess and the convent’s director but found no evidence to substantiate their hunch. Director Verhelst had removed various precious objects and works of art to a safer location prior to the war. In early November 1914, he was arrested and sent to Roeselare because he was suspected of spying.
During the war, wounded soldiers were brought to the monastery. The sisters assisted in the care and feeding of the patients. After a while, all but two sisters were sent away, and the building became a billet for German soldiers. Some sisters returned at a later point, but in August 1917 they were forced to leave the region again, as it had become too unsafe. In the autumn of 1918, the monastery of Moorslede was completely destroyed during the final offensive. The painstaking reconstruction started in 1919; the convent was officially inaugurated in August 1924, along with other reconstructed buildings in Moorslede.