Southampton D-Day wall project appeals for Second World War information

By Rosemary Collins, 10 April 2019 - 1:10pm

The Maritime Archaeology Trust has announced a new project to research the Second World War servicemen who left their names on a wall in Southampton

Southampton D-Day wall
Second World War servicemen left their names on the wall in Southampton (Credit: Maritime Archaeology Trust)

The lives of Second World War fighters who left their mark on walls in Southampton will be celebrated as a new research project receives funding.

D-Day Stories from the Walls: Recording Heritage and Disseminating the Untold Stories of Second World War Troops will research a section of wall in Southampton port where around 100 Allied soldiers etched their names and hometowns between D-Day and VE Day.

The Maritime Archaeology Trust (MAT) project has received an £86,600 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the project, which will run until October 2020.

Julie Satchell, MAT head of research, said: “We look forward to being able to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day through telling the stories of bravery and sacrifice of those who left their mark on the walls of Southampton.”

In the final year of the Second World War, 3.5 million troops passed through Southampton and into France.

Two million were American, the rest British and Canadian.

With the help of volunteers, the trust will use specialist photographic techniques to create a permanent record of the wall, which is now being lost to erosion.

Researchers will also use genealogy research to investigate the men’s lives.

Ultimately the project will create an online interactive 3D model of the wall, allowing members of the public to take a ‘virtual tour’ of the site.

Project volunteers will also carry out public outreach events, provide local schools with education packs and install an information panel at the wall.

Project officer Helen Wallbridge told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine she was also interested in hearing from members of the public about Southampton at the time and the soldiers who sailed from the city.

“Anything that can add a bit of background to the story would be great,” she said.

If you have any information, or would like to volunteer with the project, Helen can be contacted on volunteering@maritimearchaeologytrust.org.

 

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