D-Day News

The D-Day Museum Presents…

The D-Day Museum Presents…

We are excited to announce an upcoming series of events at Portsmouth City Museum...

The D-Day Museum Presents...

A series of talks about D-Day and Second World War history from guest speakers. We will be hosting these talks starting in September. Admission is £5 per adult, £4 conces and tickets must be booked in advance by contacting MuseumsGeneralOffice@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk or calling 02392 834779.

Find out more info about each talk below...

The Ill-Prepared City: Portsmouth before the Blitz

Wednesday 20th September 2017 14:00 - 15:00

Philip MacDougall

In November 1918, the Great War came to an end. There were lessons to be learnt in not just how to fight a war but how to defend the civilians of the home front. What were these lessons and how well were they learnt in Portsmouth? These are the questions that Philip will answer in this talk. When Britain declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939, it did not come as a surprise. Hitler’s remilitarization and repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles sounded a warning bell for what was to follow. In this talk, Philip examines what steps in preparing Portsmouth and its residents for the inevitable war what lessons had been learnt from the previous. Focussing on civil defence, the fire services and failed evacuation plans, he will reveal a shocking story of lost opportunity and incompetence.

Quakers at War

Wednesday 27th September 2017 14:00 - 15:00

Dr. Frances Hurd

In 1947 work of Quakers (Society of Friends) during the Second World War was recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize. Why did they receive it? What have Quakers done to help combatants and civilians during wartime, and when did they start doing it? And who are the Quakers, anyway?


D-Day & Southwick House

Wednesday 4th October 2017 14:00 - 15:00

Join Richard Callaghan, Curator of the Royal Military Police Museum, as he explores the role that Southwick House in Hampshire played on D-Day.


Keep it in the Family

Wednesday 22nd November 2017 14:00 - 15:00

Heather Wylde tells the story of her uncle, a brave young man who went missing in World War Two. This story is completely true and backed up by records, photos and documents. It has a special, unusual twist...

The Hampshire Fire Service & World War Two

Wednesday 29th November 2017 14:00 - 15:00

Archivist Alan House talks about the history of the Fire Service and their work during World War Two, including their involvement with D-Day and the group that went over to Normandy.


Put Your Best Face Forward

Wednesday 6th December 2017 14:00 - 15:00

Helpful home front hints presented in an entertaining manner by a wartime housewife. How did women manage to brighten their corners and feed their families during the days of rationing and war? Play a recipe guessing game and enjoy a good old fashioned sing along. Presented by Pedlars & Petticoats.

The Royal Observer Corps during the Second World War

Wednesday 17th January 2018 14:00 - 15:00

Join Neville Cullingford from the Royal Observer Corps Museum as he talks about the work of the ROC during the Second World War.

By : Museum Editor /02, Aug 2017 Read More

D-Day Questions Answered on the Big Screen

D-Day Questions Answered on the Big Screen

Last week the Big Screen Portsmouth added a new video that answers some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about D-Day.

The video shows members of staff from the D-Day Museum answering popular questions including: 'What does the D in D-Day stand for?', 'What was Operation Neptune?' and 'Why did D-Day happen?' Portsmouth played a key role in the Normandy Landings, with locations all over the city enabling the success of the operation, with headquarters for planning the invasion or the loading of troops, troops waiting in the streets, and men boarding transport to Normandy from South Parade Pier and Portsmouth Harbour. The museum is currently undergoing a huge transformation enabled by a generous award from the  Heritage Lottery Fund, and this video will help to answer important questions prior to our repoening. 

The video can be seen playing on the Big Screen Portsmouth, in the Guildhall Square. Watch out for our experts and learn more about D-Day!

By : Museum Editor /13, Jul 2017 Read More

Exciting new pop up museum

Exciting new pop up museum

While the museum is closed, a pop-up museum will be participating in events throughout the city of Portsmouth. The pop-up museum is displayed within a marquee, and is filled with fun, family-friendly activities, including mystery artefacts and wooden tanks. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to record their own family memories of D-Day, and to learn more about the transformation of the museum itself.

The pop-up museum is appearing at a number of events over the summer:

73rd Anniversary of D-Day (Outside the D-Day Museum) - Tuesday 6th June

Armed Forces Day (Castle Field, Southsea) - Saturday 24th June

Buckland Fayre (Buckland Park, Agincourt Road) - Saturday 8th July

Portsmouth City Museum - Wednesday 26th July.

Wartime Memories with Capturing the Spirit (Hillside & Wymering Centre) - Tuesday 1st August

Portsea Carnival (John Pounds Centre) - Saturday 12th August

Victorious Festival (Southsea Common) - Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August

Fratton Family Festival (Fratton) - Sunday 17th September

Public Participation Officer Felicity Wood said: "We're really looking forward to taking the pop up museum on the road while our building is closed for the transformation. The interactive, family friendly activities really help us bring the story of D-Day to the people of Portsmouth."

Join the D-Day Museum at the events above to learn more about the story of D-Day and those involved.

By : Museum Editor /05, Jun 2017 Read More

D-Day display opens at Portsmouth International Port

D-Day display opens at Portsmouth International Port

On Wednesday 25th May, the D-Day Museum opened a new exhibit at Portsmouth International Port. The pop-up display has been installed on the first floor of the main terminal. The port sees thousands of passengers every year, many of whom sail to and from the Normandy coastline which saw the landings on D-Day. The displays include a female factory worker, two soldiers camping in the forests north of Portsmouth, and a series of panels telling the story of D-Day. As the museum is currently closed to the public while undergoing its transformation, the pop-up displays provide a means of telling the story of D-Day.

John Jenkins, a 97-year-old D-Day veteran visited the port to open the new displays. He landed on Sword beach, and is a regular volunteer for the museum, winning Portsmouth Together's Volunteer of the Year award in 2016. John was kind enough to spend some time talking to students from Solent Junior School, answering their questions and telling them about his experiences during the war, on D-Day, and afterwards. He proved extremely popular with the children, who excitedly announced that meeting John was one of their favourite parts of the morning - and asked if they could take him back to school! The children joined him for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, announcing the opening of the new display.

Prior to meeting John, the children had taken part in a session with Public Participation Officer Felicity Wood, where they learned about D-Day and the events surrounding it. This included a chance to try on uniforms similar to those worn by an Air Raid Warden, a messenger, and a member of the Women's Land Army. 

By : Museum Editor /31, May 2017 Read More

Moving our historic vehicles

Moving our historic vehicles

In May 2017, three vehicles were moved out of the D-Day Museum and into storage. The vehicles will be held offsite during the Transforming the D-Day Museum project, until the renovated museum is ready to welcome them back. With some expert help from Railway Support Services, the vehicles were successfully removed from the D-Day Museum and transported to storage. Railway Support Services are specialists in moving large vehicles such as derailed trains, and therefore had the perfect expertise to move these historic vehicles.

The first to go was 'Vera', the converted Sherman tank. Vera is a Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle, also known as a BARV. Around sixty BARVs were used during the Normandy invasions, including Vera. These were Sherman M482 tanks, which were waterproofed and had a tall, armoured structure in place of the turret. Vera would have been able to operate in up to nine feet of water, moving vehicles which were broken-down or blocking access to the beaches. Since neither of the vehicles can be driven, they had to be carefully towed out of the museum and onto flatbed trucks. Vera was pulled out of the museum, and loaded onto the truck waiting in the car park, before being driven away from the museum and into storage. It was a clear, sunny day, and Vera looked very impressive being led out of the car park and through Portsmouth.

The next day, the DUKW, also known as 'Duck', left the museum. Duck was an amphibious vehicle, mainly used to carry supplies to shore or to transport wounded men away from combat. Museum staff had already cleared away the shingle beneath the vehicles, clearing a path for them to exit the museum via the large back doors. Unfortunately, it was a wet and windy day, however the moving team still managed to expertly manoeuvre the DUKW onto the waiting truck, and secure it for transport.

The last to leave the museum was the huge landing craft, which had been at the D-Day Museum for over twenty years. L247 was one of the landing crafts used during the D-Day Landings, later becoming a houseboat, before coming to the museum and going on display. This was a mammoth task for Railway Support Services, who custom-built a steel frame to move the landing craft. After several hours of effort, L247 was successfully taken out of the museum, and driven away for secure storage until reinstallation.

Now that the vehicle shed has been emptied, work will begin to refurbish the interior of the museum and rearrange the layout, in preparation for the newly-designed displays to be installed. James Daly, Collections Researcher at the D-Day Museum said: "The vehicles in the D-Day Museum's collections play an important role in telling the story of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. They will be a key part of our new displays, and will be exhibited along with other objects that explain their part in the story. They will be made accessible to visitors in new and exciting ways and we are really looking forward to welcoming them back and re-installing them". The transformed D-Day Museum will reopen, complete with these vehicles, in Spring 2018.

By : Museum Editor /22, May 2017 Read More