Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Women to the Rescue - As the war trundled on so the impact on the Police Reserve Force was being felt some 75 police officers went into action. Leaving the streets of Southend under policed.  The Womens Auxillary Force was formed, demanding extra accommodation at the Alexandra Street Police Station and further expansion into buildings next to it. 

Bombs Hit the Town - February 1941 - The London Pub in High Street, takes a direct hit from a German bomb; to be rebuilt as the Tavern in the Town.



Panto Time -  It is quite amazing with all the stories of war dotted around this page that normality still range out with the annual seasonal treat the pantomime.  Sure many of the town's kids had been evacuated but the Regal Theatre carried on with the old theatrical adage, 'the show must go on'.  The panto on stage would be 'The Babes in the Woods'.  The chorus works, troupe dances and fairy ballet were all arranged and set by Miss Eva McEwan, and the 'Babes' were taken by Rita Collins and Pat Gibbs, two local twelve year olds, who were the youngest principals playing in pantomime at the time.  The panto run was so well attended it was extended for a further week in January.


Bombings - November 1941 - Houses damaged in bombing raid in Coleman's Avenue and Cumberland Avenue.

Churchill Visits - With the war raging the Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid a visit to Shoeburyness to inspect the troops based at the garrison and no doubt to see the latest advances at the ranges towards defeating the Nazi threat.

Westcliff Bombed - A New Year it might have been, but the same old war trundled on, and the residents of the Borough continued to suffer from bombings, this time Westcliff became the target and in particular Crosby Road.  The image above shows the devastation caused; No. 6 was hit by four bombs and was demolished while properties around particularly No.'s 8 and 10 also took damage.  The site today of No. 6 is the Crowstone Preparatory School.


February 1941 - Southend Central Rail Station bombed 

January 1941 RAF Rochford became a forward offensive fighter base. 





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