Gwen Wright, group travel organiser for The Arts Society Cranleigh, tell us about her moving visit to the museum in Southsea, Portsmouth. 

Members of The Arts Society Cranleigh during their trip to The D-Day Story, Portsmouth

Members of the group in front of the last surviving Landing Craft Tank from D-Day which played a vital role in transporting men and supplies across the English Channel. 

After an impressive Southern Branch AGTO visit to The D-Day Story at Southsea last year, I was convinced that this year was the right time to create a group visit.

We took a group of 30 to the museum on 24th May, a deliberate choice of date to precede the build-up to D-Day 80 on 6th June. 

The pictures we took show just half of our group. We were organised in order to create guided tours of both the Overlord Embroidery and the last existing Landing Craft Tank LCT 7074.

About the Overlord Embroidery

The Overlord Embroidery tells the story of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in 34 extraordinary hand-stitched panels with a total length of 83 metres.

The Overlord embroidery at The D-Day Story in Portsmouth

It took five years to stitch the Overlord Embroidery by hand using more than 50 different materials. 

Lord Dulverton commissioned the embroidery in 1968. He set up an advisory committee including retired senior officers from the army, navy and air force to help him with the project. Together they decided what events the embroidery would represent.

Sandra Lawrence, a young British artist, designed the embroidery. She looked at hundreds of wartime photographs as she researched the subjects she had to portray. Sandra drew small pencil sketches of her initial designs and presented them to the committee.

The Overlord Embroidery was stitched by a team of highly skilled women at the Royal School of Needlework in London using the appliqué technique, stitching smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger background piece to recreate the pictures in Sandra’s design. 

Both of our guides were truly amazing and shared so many stories and facts which enhanced the visit hugely. 

We were all in awe of the whole museum and the presentations are excellent. Visiting in the lead up to the 80th commemoration of the D-Day Landings made the visit especially poignant and many of our group extended their day ticket to one where they can return in the next year to absorb further the enormity of the whole D Day Story.

Members of The Arts Society Cranleigh during their trip to The D-Day Story, Portsmouth

The group had a very memorable day at The D-Day Story. 

What else? Well the museum café was excellent, and later being by the sea, we enjoyed our fish and chips on the sea front in the sunshine. It was a truly amazing day with so many thank you notes from all who enjoyed.

The museum caters for groups of all sizes and interests. The team recommends a group visit time of two hours in order to see everything and coach parking is available in the adjacent car park. They can also create bespoke talks based on individual group requests depending on the interest of the group. 

For more information visit