The only UK museum dedicated to the D-Day invasion reopens in Portsmouth soon, ready to welcome visitors during the Easter holidays.
A £5million transformation of the museum on the seafront in Southsea has brought much more than a new name. “The D-Day Story” has expertly refurbished galleries containing exhibits not previously displayed to the public.
The story of the allied invasion in June 1944 is retold using the personal reflections of those involved, with tales of courage and determination, comradeship and sacrifice, secrecy and deception, and innovation and tactics.
The historic 83 metre long Overlord Embroidery sits at the centre of the museum, a remarkable piece of art that documents the Battle of Normandy, codenamed Operation Overlord. Amongst the new items displayed in the museum is the pencil used to sign an order for naval forces to depart for the Normandy beaches. It bears an inscription “This pencil started the invasion”.
Just a short drive from Portsmouth International Port, “The D-Day Story” is one of a number of internationally important attractions available for ferry and cruise customers to explore. Whilst the museum was closed for refurbishment a small part of its collection was displayed in the passenger terminal as part of a special exhibition.
Councillor Linda Symes, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Portsmouth City Council said: “The newly transformed D-Day Story is a major addition to the world-class cultural and heritage offering that the waterfront city of Portsmouth has to offer. D-Day was a pivotal moment in the Second World War and the D-Day Story re-tells the human stories that underpin the history as the event passes from living memory.”