Who Do You Think You Are?


On the night of 11 December 1940, air-raid sirens blared out over the Essex town of Southend-on-Sea. Newlyweds Stan and Doris King had returned from the sweet factory that they owned to their home on Mount Avenue. But there was little time to head for safety before an enormous explosion was heard.

A bomb had dropped just yards from their home. Miraculously, Stan and Doris survived and none of their neighbours was hurt. Stephen King is their youngest child, and he is fascinated with his parents’ war. “Stan and Doris never talked about the wartime era,” he explains. “They were positive, cheerful people who enjoyed looking to the future.

“I became interested in the war about 10 years ago and started researching its effect on Southend, where I was born in 1947. I was at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford one day and the archivist showed me a ‘bomb map’. This fascinating record

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