From the expert members of the Essex Society for Family History, to the U3A and Leigh Society researchers, and so many more historians that have shared archive, HMS Leigh: Guardian of the Thames owes you a huge debt.
If you are interested in local history – as our team are – then we hope that the materials available on this website will stimulate a desire to learn more about the unique WW2 history of Southend Pier and the people who lived or arrived in Southend-on-Sea during 1939-45. From extraordinary love stories to those fishermen who agreed to sail their boats across the busiest shipping channel in the world while at risk of being bombed at Dunkirk to the sheer grit of the staff that fed and watered thousands of convoys, this story could never be dull.
The personal memories of adults that remember how their childhoods were shaped by the conflict are fascinating, as are the family stories passed down with photographs of Mum, Dad, Grandma or Grandad who served in the Armed Forces, Home Guard, Reserve Forces and who kept the whole country going by keeping the Home Front alive. HMS Leigh – Guardian of the Thames needs help from our adult learners because education is forever.
If you have any Southend WW2 stories, were evacuated from the town, or have photos and family stories then we would love to hear from you so that we can share them with the whole community. Or, if you have time to spare and would like to learn about supporting the HMS Leigh Team with saving the heritage of WW2 Southend, please get in touch.