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The Overlord Embroidery Trust

August 20, 2018 10:58 am Published by

We have updated our Special Projects page to include the history of the Overlord Embroidery Trust (OET).

The Overlord Embroidery was commissioned by the 2nd Lord Dulverton to depict the allied invasion of Normandy on the 6th June 1944, as a personal tribute to all those involved in Operation Overlord. The OET was set up to be the ultimate owner of the Embroidery which is on loan to Portsmouth City Council and on display in the D-Day Story museum in Southsea. The Dulverton Trust provides administration support to the OET.

In 1968, Lord Dulverton selected artist Sandra Lawrence to design the embroidery. Sandra sketched the preliminary designs using wartime photographs for reference. Once the designs were approved by a committee including a retired senior officer from each of the military services, Sandra painted full-size watercolours of each panel.

A team of highly skilled women from the Royal School of Needlework transferred Sandra’s designs onto linen panels using ancient techniques. Over 50 different materials were chosen to be appliquéd onto the 34 panels, including material from military uniforms.

The last panel was completed in January 1974. Over five years, twenty embroiderers and five apprentices from the Royal School of Needlework contributed to the 83m long Embroidery. The 34 original paintings by Sandra Lawrence are now permanently displayed at the Pentagon, Washington DC, USA.

To find out more about the D-Day Story museum where the embroidery is held, please click here.