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HMS Leigh Education

HMS Leigh is a community lead heritage and arts project that aims to connect people of all ages with the history of Southend Pier, aka HMS Leigh, during WW2.  Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Arts Council and Southend Borough Council, this project was part of the VE75 and VE76 celebrations.      
This year HMS Leigh is finally able to go live and hold our schools’ event “HMS Leigh – Bravest Pier in the World” on Southend Pier to celebrate HMS Leigh and Southend during WW2. This year is also the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal British Legion, so with their help the HMS Leigh Event will be celebrating and remembering those who lived and died through WW2 and other conflicts over the past 100 years. 
The inspiring community response to the project for oral histories, archive, photographs and film has meant that teaching this local history to a new generation is possible with much greater understanding of the legacy of those resourceful men and women who together turned a pleasure pier into a naval battle station during WW2.    
Thanks to the vision and generosity of our partners and funders, the HMS Leigh Team are inviting all Southend to take part in the HMS Leigh – Bravest Pier in the World Event on Thursday 23rd of Friday 24th of September, which will transform Southend Pier into a giant collaboration of everything that is great about the past and the present with young people’s creativity being centre stage.  
For more information or to book your school’s slot please see or email us at 

The HMS Leigh Education section is divided into primary, secondary, special needs, home schooling and adult learning pages to provide material that is appropriate to all ages supporting teachers and parents to explore Southend’s heritage. The HMS Leigh Team would appreciate any guidance on making these learning materials into a worthwhile legacy for those who lived through WW2 and the Covid-19 pandemic.  Feedback is always gratefully received so if there are any ideas on how to improve this resource, please do get in touch   
All materials on the HMS Leigh website are free for educational use. The images used have either been provided to the project by Southend Museum, Southend Pier Museum, individual local contributors or will have attributions attached to them – such as IWM for Imperial War Museum images.  

Education Leaflet

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