The D-Day and Normandy Fellowship 1968-2018

The Fellowship was formed in 1968 to support an Appeal for funds to complete the building of Portsmouth Cathedral as a memorial to the liberation of Europe in 1944-45. The Fellowship’s first member was Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein who commanded the Allied land forces on D-Day and in the battle of Normandy.

The Fellowship was established on a more formal basis in 1973. Its aims were to foster understanding between all those involved in Operation Overlord; to meet together on special occasions; and to create lasting memorials to D-Day and the battle of Normandy. It attracted members from all over the world. These were mainly veterans but also families and those with an interest in the study and commemoration of the historic events of 1944. The Fellowship adopted the insignia of General Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) as its emblem and ‘Honour All Men’ as its motto.

From 1973 to 2017 the Fellowship held an annual gathering in Portsmouth on the weekend nearest to D-Day. For many of those years the reunion dinner was held at Eisenhower’s headquarters, Southwick House just to the north of Portsmouth, where the D-Day Wall Map used in plotting the invasion has been preserved. On the Sunday morning members of the Fellowship attended a Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance at Portsmouth Cathedral. The names of some 3,000 individuals and organisations from all over the world who joined the Fellowship are recorded in the Fellowship’s Book of Remembrance held by the Cathedral.

The Fellowship closed at the beginning of 2018 but a new organisation, based in the Midlands and called the Birmingham D-Day and Normandy Fellowship, has been established. Further information about its activities and how to join can be obtained by emailing birminghamddnf.

Header image: panel from The Overlord Embroidery, on display at The D-Day Story, Portsmouth