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Primary Schools

WW2 is a popular topic to teach in class, although no longer compulsory it is an excellent subject for subjects such as History, Topic, Citizenship, English, Art and Design, Local Studies, and there are plenty of excellent teaching resources already available. However, these resources tend to cover national or even international WW2 events or issues, not local ones. 


The Hidden history of WW2 

Every town, city or village has a story to tell about life during the conflict, but in Southend-on-Sea, due to the importance of what Southend Pier was to become during WW2, there is a wealth of opportunity to explore personal histories that have never been studied. If you would like to learn more about what we can offer to support your lesson regarding Southend in WW2, please do get in touch.   
The HMS Leigh Team of experts and volunteers want to offer a new way to share this story with students of any age, that enables everyone to engage with our history and provides teachers with accurate and first-hand inspiring local source materials.  


War is about everyone who fought and struggled for their country, from the Front Line to the Home Front.  It is about the courage it takes to keep a society going while supplying the Army, Navy and Airforce hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Each year there are fewer veterans to share their experiences and now is the perfect time to listen to those who were children during WW2 and capture their memories.  


The HMS Leigh Project wants to build a community that comes together creatively around these stories and archive. There are challenges to how this is done due to the pandemic and beyond, but with teachers’ expertise guiding us that these can be overcome safely.   
It makes sense that at this time where young people have had to stay home and apart from each other to try and find ways that they can come together to share in their creativity.   


Each school in Southend will be receiving an invitation to take part in the HMS Leigh – Bravest Pier in the World event in September 2021.  The HMS Leigh Team will be offering resources to any school that would like them and will also be very grateful for any local archive, stories or support, that schools can offer in return.  For more information regarding HMS Leigh please email the team at or call us on 0207 097 3935 (voicemail) 

World war 2 classroom, HMS Leigh

Class in WW2

Southend Pier

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