- Point of Interest
- 62-70 Broad Street, Portsmouth, Royaume-Uni
As the Embarkation Area Headquarters for the Portsmouth sector during the D-Day campaign, Quay House was central to the successful launching of the campaign. Organising the launches of the allied troops from four areas across Portsmouth to the beaches of Normandy, France, military personnel at Quay House played a vital role in ensuring the campaign ran efficiently.
Quay House, located in Old Portsmouth, acted as the Embarkation Area Headquarters for the Portsmouth sector during the D-Day campaign. In the lead-up to D-Day large numbers of Allied troops assembled along various embarkation points across the south coast of the United Kingdom, ready to disembark when the orders were given. Troops set off from Dartmouth (Utah Force), Portland (Omaha Force), Portsmouth (Juno Force), Shoreham-by-Sea (Sword Force) and Southampton (Gold Force).
Due to the vast scale of the operation, meticulous planning was required to coordinate the troops and get them ready to join the ships and landing craft that would carry them to the beaches of Normandy, France. The local Embarkation Area Headquarters played a vital role in ensuring that the operation ran smoothly and without delay. Quay House organised the launches from four areas across Portsmouth: Flat House Quay, Portsmouth Royal Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth Harbour Station and South Parade Pier.
In readiness for embarkation, the Allied troops were stationed in various camps to the north of Portsmouth, such as marshalling area camp A7 at Stakes Hill, Waterlooville, and Lepe in the New Forest. These camps could hold up to 2,500 men and 250 vehicles. The majority of them were located in dense woodland to ensure they remained hidden from enemy reconnaissance aircrafts. Once the orders were given for the D-Day campaign to commence, personnel at Quay House mobilised so the Allied troops could be quickly transferred to the local embarkation areas along the Portsmouth coastline, running the operation according to a highly detailed timetable.
Quay House is now a private residence.
As an artillery officer for the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, Parker Alford travelled to Normandy, France, as part of the D-Day invasion. In the lead-up to D-Day, Alford was stationed near Newbury, England, in one of the sealed forest camps used by the allies to hide troops and equipment from enemy detection.
D-Day is one of the most remembered campaigns of the Second World War. The operation involved troops from Britain, the United States, Canada and several other countries. On 6 June 1944 the Allied forces sailed across the English Channel to begin their campaign to gain victory against the German forces. Planning the invasion was an enormous undertaking.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum is part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and tells the story of the Royal Navy’s submarine service. Set on the site on the Submarine Service’s 20th century base on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour, the museum is home to the Royal Navy’s very first submarine Holland 1, the only surviving WWII-era submarine HMS Alliance and midget submarine X24.
In June 1944, Portsmouth residents said they “knew something was happening”, but weren’t sure exactly what. All they saw were lines of troops walking through the city – for what we now know was their departure to Normandy. On 6 June 2019, Portsmouth residents can feel what their predecessors felt with this re-enactors march through the city.