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10:00 HMS Leigh Music – Hymns for VE-Day Weekend - Dennis Evans Hymns

Many thanks to Mr Dennis Evans for this selection of hymns played on his home piano and recorded with his wife Margaret during the lockdown. Dennis served his National Service with the Royal Artillery Garrison in Shoeburyness and met Margaret at this time. They moved away but returned in the 60s and Mr Evans was the Head of Music at Westcliff High School before retiring.

10:30 – HMS Leigh History – AJN-825 A bus for VE-Day

It is 81 years since she first entered service on 1st April 1939. This Bristol Double Decker was operated by Westcliff-on- Sea Motor Service and was a daily sight on the routes around Southend-on-Sea. In 1941 AJN 825 was loaned to Bristol Tramways where she served until returning to her hometown in November 1944. For the rest of the war this bus transported passengers from the battle for France right through to VE-Day when she was in service in Westcliff as usual. Today she is looked after by the 825 Preservation Group, Harwich and will this wonderful example of craftsmanship, care and dedication will hopefully be joining us at Southend Pier for the 76th anniversary in 2021.

11:00 HMS Leigh Stories – The Commodore of Convoys

“We cannot afford for one moment to slacken the pace and thank heaven we shall see great things happening in the spring. Happenings that you and I must make the conclusive knock out blow.” The words of Cmdr Frederick Hunter in 1943 in a speech to factory workers in the North of England. Cmdr Hunter served at HMS Leigh between 1941 and 1945 and his family have very kindly allowed us to share his speech through HMS Leigh - Make Do and Mend.

11:30 HMS Leigh – Local Resident – Katy Kurilecz

Local resident and history buff Katy Kurilecz has been kind enough to make us a short film of support for the HMS Leigh – Make Do and Mend and help us share a wonderful local VE-Day connection.

12:00 HMS Leigh – Bygone Years – Southend Drumhead Service 1932

The Bygone Year DVDs produced and narrated by Chris Taylor have given us a wonderful insight into Southend-on-Sea of the past and this service from 1932 – well before our wonderful NHS, was also to raise money to support the local hospital and it looks like half of Southend turned out for the parade.

1230 – HMS Leigh – Councillor Keith Evans

With thanks to Councillor Keith Evans for supporting the HMS Leigh project in many ways.  We are also really grateful to the Mayor and Mayoress and all the other councillors who made films supporting this project.

13:00 – The Village – Don Mouatt

This film is a look at Old Leigh Town with archive photographs, paintings, history, facts figures and reflection on the more modern side of life and tourism in this historic fishing village in the heart of our community. Many thanks to the producer and voice of the film Don Mouatt for sharing his work with HMS Leigh – Make Do and Mend.


14:00 HMS Leigh Cuisine – Spam Fritters – The Edey Family

When you think of World War 2 food one of the items synonymous with the era of rationing and shortage is good old Spam! It was touted as one of the most versatile of products and at it was 90% meat it must be good for you! In the spirit Make Do and Mend the Edey family bravely agreed to turn the clock back and try out some war-time recipes.


1500 – HMS Leigh Make Do and Mend Service of thanksgiving and Commemoration led by Father David Wylie, RN

If you would like to follow this service in detail, including the names of the participants and the words of the hymns, then the Order Of Service is available to download and print at home.  This is the last official item from HMS Leigh and we just want to thank everyone who has taken part in any way.  Hope to see you all in May 2021 on Southend Pier!


Thank you all so much for joining us, We really hope you have enjoyed our online event, make sure you join us on Instagram and Facebook for news on HMS Leigh 2021

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