Primary Schools

Most primary school teachers have taught or will teach about WW2 in class, even though since 2014, it is no longer compulsory to do so on the National Curriculum. Due to it being a popular topic, there are plenty of excellent teaching resources already available.  However, these resources tend to cover national or even international WW2 issues. 

Class in 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 crucial role to reveal and explore that has never been studied in detail.  Much of this history will soon become harder to collect and that is why we need your help to work across generations to learn what makes the Southend community unique in WW2.  The HMS Leigh Team of experts and volunteers wants to offer a new way to share this story with

students of any age, that enables everyone to feel part of our history by providing teachers with accurate and inspiring source materials. 

War is obviously about those men and women that fought in the front line, but it is also about the courage it takes to keep a society going while supplying the Army, Navy and Airforce.  Each year there are fewer veterans to share their experiences.  Now is also the perfect time to listen to those who were children during WW2 and capture their memories. 

What the project also wants to build is a community that comes together creatively around these stories and archive.  There are challenges to how this is done due to the pandemic, but we believe with your 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 we can come together to share in their creativity.  If all else fails, we will be able to connect everyone online as we did this year. 

Each school in Southend will be receiving an invitation to get involved with HMS Leigh - Guardian of the Thames.  We are starting from the position that general WW2 lesson materials are not in short supply, however if you would like HMS Leigh – Guardian of the Thames to supply any local archive, stories or support, then please do contact us at feedback is always very welcome and useful to the Team. 

Southend Pier

Main image courtesy of Dean Trotter

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