A minor mystery from Sidmouth’s history has been solved – and the details will be revealed at a talk next week. 

Sidmouth Royal Naval Old Comrades Association (RNOCA) is presenting a talk by local historian Andrew Rugg-Gunn about HMS Sidmouth at the Conservative Club on Wednesday, January 11 at 7pm. 

During the talk he will reveal what he has discovered about the heraldry of HMS Sidmouth’s unusual badge, depicting a leopard or wildcat, which is among Sidmouth Museum’s collection. 

Mr Rugg-Gunn, a former Royal Navy dentist and academic, will outline HMS Sidmouth’s war as a minesweeper between 1941 and 1945, and tell how the ship worked out of Channel ports, was involved in the attack on Dieppe and had an important role on D-Day. 

Radio journalist Stanley Maxted was on board the Sidmouth on that day, and he broadcast an early report from the operation - a recording of which Andrew will share. 

RNOCA Secretary Jim Walker said: “Andrew is a meticulous chap so it should be an informative and convivial evening. We have discussed the ship’s badge before, but got nowhere, so it’ll be splendid to learn what he’s discovered." 

The talk is free, and all that are interested are welcome.