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The PL League Boss
Apr 28, 2006
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
“Southend United Under the Shadow of War” is my next book which should be published this coming November. For those that have seen my previous effort the “Forgotten Years of the Kursaal” the format is much the same, match reports intermingled with snippets from the local paper, and is my attempt at showing the history of the club for this period in the greatest possible detail. As this book covers 1934 to 1946 it is in fact two stories, one of the Blues and one of the town of Southend during war time, and it will include some 1,500 extracts from the local papers in its 400 odd pages. A quick blog of the book is shown at the bottom of this post.

The point of all this is have any Shrimperzoners anything to include in this book i.e.

1) Southend United 1934 to 1946, I know it’s a long time ago but has anyone any memories, pictures etc on this period or any passed down stories from parents, grandparents etc.

2) Southend and district during the war, again any personal or handed down stories of evacuation, air raids, rationing etc. and again any pictures would always be welcome.

Full credit to anyone providing anything used in the book would of course be given.



In 1934 Southend United…….had a new ground at the Stadium and a new manager in internationally well known David Jack, however at the end of the season they had to seek re-election and the pitch was a quagmire. A 4-4 draw at Tottenham the following season brought some satisfaction but In the coming seasons, the supporters watching poor results became disenchanted with the ground the “bob” supporter getting poor views in the open. With the outbreak of war Football continued for a season at the Stadium in largely meaningless games, with the club only kept afloat by the generosity of the supporters. The following year the London clubs refused to travel to Southend as it was a restricted area and the club had little option but to move to Chelmsford, they struggled on for a year but little of Southend United was left apart from the name and at the end of the season it was time to call it a day. With peace declared the club was resurrected and competed in the 1945-46 most importantly the club had survived.

In 1934 the Town of Southend
was rapidly developing, the fastest growing residential town in the country and the population grew to 150,000. With the outbreak of war it was generally thought that the town would be in the front line and possibly the place for invasion and life in Southend revolved around gas masks and Anderson shelters. With Dunkirk the Government virtually insisted on evacuation not only of children but everyone who could be persuaded to leave. The population dropped by two thirds to 50,000 and those that were absent didn’t know if their property had been bombed, vandalised or looted Those that stayed had to contend with bombs, doodlebugs and V-2 rockets and the worry that their children, many who were not receiving any education at all, might be buying, swopping or playing with live ammunition. Despite all this the town survived