Southend , Tonight, One Hundred Years Ago

From Essex Writer Dee Gordon’s “Southend “, a short extract:


At midnight on August 4th, 1914, there were crowds outside the offices of the Southend Standard waiting for news of Englands declaration of war on Germany due
to the unprovoked invasion of Belgium. One of the odder impacts of this declaration locally was the directive that Southend and Leigh-on-Sea pubs should close by 9 p.m. (some sources give as early as 6 p.m.) However, the evening trains to nearby Eastwood (to the West) or Rochford (to the North) carried more evening travellers
than usual because the pubs there could remain open till 10 p.m.
Lord Kitcheners famous recruitment campaign (Your Country Needs You) culminated in a grand rally at the Kursaal, and over 1,000 men were sent to France
and over 400 others joined the territorial forces. By November, twenty-two Southenders had already been killed.


  1. I fully appreciate that this is a site for more local matters but can I be the only one who thought the Queens absence at the service last night was disgraceful. I don’t care two hoots if she’s on holiday, she is the head of state and should have been there to represent our nation.

  2. I noticed she attended a private service in Scotland. I was surprised she was nowhere in sight. I know she is handing more “routine” duties over to the younger generation, and at 88 I don’t think anyone can blame her for that, but I did expect her to be at the service for something this important. Perhaps she thinks that if the commemoration events are led by the younger generation then it will mean more to younger people. Not that you can really describe Prince Charles as the younger generation any more.

  3. Christine, I see where you are coming from but in that case she should hand over to Charles, I’m not happy with this half way house approach. Anyway perhaps best leave it there.

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