Following their F.A. Cup heroics the previous season, Yeovil & Petters opened the
1939/40 season at Huish with a 2-1 win over Barry Town. But the stormy clouds of war
were gathering over the country and only two more matches were played before war was
declared on 3rd September - at home to Cardiff City Reserves and, finally, away to
All league football suspended for two months before war-time football was introduced.
The Southern League recommenced on 4th November with five teams in the Eastern
Section and eight teams in the Western Section. Newport-based
Lovell's Athletic finished as champions with Yeovil in fourth place.
The last match played at Huish before the ground was handed over to the
Ministry of War, to be used as an ammunition dump, was against Lovell's, whom Yeovil
defeated by three goals to one.
The player's contracts were terminated, the ground was valued, the telephone was cut off
and the shutters came down on Huish. After the war office moved out Huish was then taken
over by the American Army who offered to level the pitch if they could use the ground to play
baseball. Their offer was not taken up.
During the war years, when the manager Billy Kingdom and many past and present Yeovil
players distinguished themselves in the service of the country on land, at sea and in the air,
it was strange in Yeovil on Saturday afternoons not to find crowds of good-humoured, jostling
people eagerly converging on Huish.
However, the local Police XI combined with several of
the old Yeovil team still living in the town in an effort to partially satisfy the sports
starved local community.
Among the fixtures were quire lively games against Exeter City and Devonport Torpedo Works,
whose star turn was billed as Arsenal's England international, Eddie Bowden. Unfortunately,
he couldn't play due to injury, but he did hobble out to the centre circle to kick off.
Then, on Boxing Day, Yeovil were to play a very strong Exmouth Marines side. Crowds of
people rolled into Huish but, an hour after the scheduled start, there was still no sign of
the visitors. People began to get angry, so the management tactfully gave their patrons free
tickets for the next home friendly. 'Phone calls were made, but to no avail ... the Marines
had set out in plenty of time but nothing else was known. The crowd thinned; just a few
optimists stayed on. A few sang Christmas carols; others swore. Then, around the bend by
Douglas Seaton's, came a military lorry. The eleven occupants, who had obviously carried
the festive spirit a little too far, tumbled out the back and - after virtually incoherent
apologies - took the field to lose to Yeovil in a farcical game by nine goals to nil.