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Southend: 1939 - 1945

Location: Beecroft30 August 2019 - 30 August 2019

30th August 2019 | 11am - 12:30pm | Tickets £5 per person / £15 group ticket (up to 4 people)

Book your ticket in advance at, or pay on the door.


In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Second World War beginning on 3rd September 1939 explore the story of Southend between 1939 and 1945. Using the narrative of the War as a back drop, understand how Southend prepared itself for conflict in the years leading up to the 1939. Explore how Southend responded to war being declared; including the militarisation of the town, the evacuation of its children, and the events that occurred during the “phoney war”. Analyse Southend as a front-line seaside town during the Battle of the Thames, the Battle of Britain, and the “Southend Blitz”, and see the consequences of successive air raids across the area. Understand how Southend defended itself; from RAF Rochford to the Home Guard, coastal defences and Heavy Anti-Aircraft batteries defending the estuaries skies and shores. Finally we briefly focus how the town was instrumental to the war effort as well as the preparations for the Normandy Landings 80 years on, and how women impacted this innovative work. Analyse the experiences of local people from their accounts and see original local images from our collection in this fascinating lecture!

This event is suitable for ages 16 years and above.

Southend Museums Service is part of the Culture Section of the Adult and Community Services Department, Southend on Sea, Essex Borough Council