Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life





Sickness in Southend - November 1914


 Scarlet Fever 22
 Diptheria 10
 Typhoid Fever 9
 Puerperal Fever 2
 Erysipelas 1
 Opthalmia Neonatonum








The Tube - These posters appeared for many years advertising Southend as a destination for those seeking the seaside, on the underground.  This one relied on image more than words.  Created by Harold L Oakley.

Thanks to the London Transport Museum for this image click the link to see the whole range and purchase copies: Click

Royal Visit -  In June Queen Mary visited the now requisitioned property the Queen Mary's Naval Hospital, something to be repeated a couple of years later.  The property in question would be now recognised as the Palace Hotel.  A perfect location based above the pier that would transit the injured during war straight to the care of the medical profession.


War Starts, Pier Pressed into Action  Southend Pier has a long and largely unrecognised military service in both of the World Wars.  During the Great War in November 1914 prisoner of war ships were moored in the estuary, the Royal Edward, the Invernia and the Saxonia.  The pier saw the regular arrival of German prisoners to be transported to ships moored off the Pier, including many Barons and other titled Germans.  All 3 ships were removed from this service in the Spring of 1915.  The Royal Edward and the Invernia were torpedoed during this conflict while the Saxonia had a longer life and finally scrapped.





Southend Powered by the Germans - Late in 1914 the British Government commandeered five new diesel-engine driven generating sets installing them to power up Southend. This however would still leave the town short for it's customer demand.  Using ingenuity and subtly altering the use for land, the Town Council purchased six complete diesel engines which would have run German Submarines conveniently surrendered at the time.  These were distributed around the town into two sub stations and the main power plant.






Southend-on-Sea Constabulary are Formed, Separate from the Essex Constabulary.  Although this decision was reversed in 1969.  



The Pest House is Demolished - Before the amazing advancements of modern medicine most built up towns had a 'pest' house located away from the main populace.  Southend was no exception and had its Pest House around the site of the Albany Laundry not far from the Cavendish Gardens/Kingsway.  Although it had not been used for many years as a refuge for those suffering the incurable diseases, it was finally disposed of  in 1914.

Recruiting for War - With the onset of the Great War a massive recruitment drive was thrown into operation, the following poster (courtesy of the Imperial War Museum) was on display throughout Essex.  In Southend the address listed for recruitment was 127 Salisbury Avenue.

Men of Essex

Leigh Gets Another Cinema - Probably the most popular of all the Leigh Cinema's was the Coliseum opening in April 1914 in Elm Road.  Designed to impress with a barrel ceiling decorated gold and red and seating an audience of 600 in plush seating, this was to increase to 1100The cinema had a longer life than most in the borough finally succumbing to Bingo in 1965. 



Troops Take Over the Parks - The war made Southend a natural base for many troops who took up station in the area, this brought about some interesting demands, one of which included the request to use the parks for the purposes of parades and drill, thereby maintaining discipline within the ranks.  Colonel Patton-Bethanal Officer Commanding 14th Rifle Brigade was given permission to this very thing in Southchurch Park as long as they did not in the course of their drilling go on to the much hallowed cricket pitch.

All Saints Ward - Named after All Saints Church on Sutton Road, was incorporated in 1914, and grew up around Porters Town. It would include the first housing estate in Southend in Ruskin Road, as well as the Victoria Rail Station and the Stadium.

Most of the Royal Library on Pier Hill is demolished 

Thorpe Hall Boulevard open to trams


Westclff Police Station ExpaWestcliff Police Stationnds - As the town expanded so did the need for the support services.  Permission was given to purchase land in Claremont Road to expand Westcliff Police Station on the junction with West Road.


Telephone Use Growing - By 1914 the number of telephones across the town had reached a total of 684 lines.  With the outbreak of the war and through it the number would slightly increase and decrease. 

Southend Gains Status - An important date in Southend's development being bestowed County Borough status on 1st April 1914.

Marks & Spencers opens in the High Street as a Penny Bazaar


Where to now?

Recent Photos

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.