RAF Southend focuses on the airport's role in the Second World War, between October 1940 and August 1944, from when it became a fighter station in its own right, until it became an armament practice camp later in the war. It describes the manning and maintenance of the forward fighter station, often under attack, and follows the varying fortunes of the staff and personnel who were posted there, and the highs and lows of the events, occasionally tragic, that occurred on and around the aerodrome. It also gives in-depth details of the numerous defensive and offensive operations carried out by the various RAF fighter squadrons during their time based at Southend. Through interviews with ex-staff and eyewitnesses, and the meticulous cross-referencing of original material, this book makes will make a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in local, aviation or military history. Author Peter Brown is an established local historian, with many years of research in the Southend area.
Peter Brown has researched local history for several years and one of the most challenging areas he is still working on is the names of the fallen and women on the memorial sites in and around Southend-on-Sea from World War I. In the summer of 2008, Brown was party to a "rediscovery" of the underground air-raid shelters beneath the Ekco Plastics Complex in Southend. After bringing it to the attention of the Southend Museum and the Braintree Archaeological Team, the successful retrieval of a considerable number of items was carried out.