◀BACK  

D-Day Museum

Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum and Overlord Embroidery is the only Museum in this country dedicated to telling the complete story of Operation OVERLORD. Portsmouth was the nerve centre for OVERLORD, so there could be no better home for such a Museum.

The Fellowship’s Museum Sub-committee, chaired by Major Don Holman, had been working with Portsmouth City Council since the 1970s on plans to set up a D-Day Museum. In 1983 the possibility of acquiring the Overlord Embroidery led to the go ahead for a brand new purpose-built D-Day Museum on Southsea seafront.

Members of the Fellowship provided artefacts, documents, photographs, maps and all kinds of memorabilia for the Museum’s displays. These items were initially on loan, but were subsequently presented to the Museum for permanent preservation.

Don Holman acquired a variety of large exhibits for the Museum, most notably a DUKW. This was particularly dear to his heart as he had landed on D-Day in command of a platoon of 33 DUKWs (see Don Holman's D-Day Memory). The Fellowship’s patron at that time, Lord Montgomery, made one of his father’s famous black berets available for display at the Museum.

The Overlord Embroidery is the centrepiece of the D-Day Museum. It is complemented by a moving audio-visual show that evokes the atmosphere of World War II, together with historical displays and tableaux covering every aspect of the planning and preparations for OVERLORD and the landings by air and sea on D-Day.

There is a plaque in the Museum’s foyer that reads: ‘Many organisations and individuals have assisted in the establishment of this museum. Portsmouth City Council wishes to record its gratitude to them all. A particular debt is owed to the D-Day and Normandy Fellowship whose inspiration and tireless support contributed greatly to the project.’













25th Anniversary Celebrations

The D-Day Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009. HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Museum at the end of April to mark the occasion. In recognition of the part played by the Fellowship in helping to set up the Museum, the President and members of the Committee were invited to attend. They were presented to the Royal party in the Vehicle Shed, so that they could explain the Fellowship’s role using the DUKW as an example.












Flag Conservation Project 2013

The Fellowship continues to support the D-Day Museum in practical ways. In 2013 the Fellowship made a grant of £500 from the Peggy Bridge Bequest to fund the conservation of the White Ensign flown on D-Day by Support Landing Craft 79 and signed by her crew.



DUKW

A DUKW, like the one acquired for the D-Day Museum by Don Holman, reverses off the ramp of a tank landing ship en route to the Normandy beaches.
(IWM B5016)


Lord Montgomery

The Patron of the DDNF, Lord Montgomery, visited the D-Day Museum on the centenary of his father's birth in November 1987. He is holding his father's famous black beret with the two badges. With him is Stephen Brooks, then museum curator, now Chairman of the Fellowship.



HRH Queen Elizabeth II at the D-Day Museum with Stephen Brooks

Royal visit to the D-Day Museum 2009: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh turn to look at the DUKW as Chairman Stephen Brooks explains how the DDNF helped to acquire it for the Museum in 1984. (click to enlarge)


Councillor Mrs Hall thanks Treasurer Les Garrett and President Sir Geoffrey Dalton on behalf of Portsmouth City Council

Councillor Mrs Hall thanks Treasurer Les Garrett and President Sir Geoffrey Dalton on behalf of Portsmouth City Council.


Chairman Stephen Brooks with his successor as curator of the D-Day Museum, Andrew Whitmarsh

Chairman Stephen Brooks with his successor as curator of the D-Day Museum, Andrew Whitmarsh.

 ◀BACK