The D-Day Story

The museum in Portsmouth, now rebranded as The D-Day Story is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the Allied Invasion of June 1944, and is now open to the public once more.

The museum opens following a £5m transformation undertaken ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019. 

The museum contains many exhibits not previously displayed to the public, in refurbished galleries that feature the words and perspectives of those involved - from both a military and a civilian viewpoint. There will also be spaces for learning, events and interactive displays.

What to expect from The D-Day Story

The D-Day Story is full of personal stories of courage and determination, comradeship and sacrifice, secrecy and deception, innovation and tactics. It is a story in which ordinary people worked together to achieve an extraordinary outcome.

At the heart of the museum’s iconic collection is the historic 83-metre Overlord Embroidery, an art textile inspired in part by the 11th century Bayeux Tapestry.

One of the new items to be displayed for the first time is a pencil used by Lieutenant Commander John A.H. Harmer, OBE to sign the order for Force G (the naval forces that went to Gold Beach) to depart for Normandy. 

The museum includes a varied and eclectic collection of artefacts which each have a story to tell. A good example of this is Betty White's Coat. Troops bound for Normandy passed by Betty White’s house in Albermarle Street. 

Soldiers gave Betty, aged five at the time, badges and buttons as mementos. Her mother sewed the British Army Regimental and RAF metal cap badges, plus British and Canadian fabric shoulder titles, uniform buttons and others, onto Betty’s coat.

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, Portsmouth City Council, said: “The D-Day Story is an inherently human story as well as a pivotal moment in the Second World War. From the outset the aim has been to capture and tell the human stories behind the historical event as it passes from living memory so that the D-Day Story resonates with generations to come."

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