- Historic Sites
The Overlord Embroidery
A vast tribute in cloth to the victors of D-day is good art, good history—and surprisingly affecting
May/June 1989 | Volume 40, Issue 4
A piper appeared in the finished embroidery wearing a helmet as he piped British commandos ashore. When the unit’s brigadier, Lord Lovat, saw the work on exhibit, he exploded, “He wasn’t wearing a tin hat, he was wearing a beret!” The panel was removed from display, the tin hat came off, and on went an authentic green beret. But the piper will forever sport a five o’clock shadow where his chin strap used to be.
Despite such small frustrations, the finished embroidery is an amazement and a delight, a unique picture of the war from the summer of the blitz to the invasion of Europe. The museum is open every day from ten-thirty to fivethirty, and a ninety-minute train ride from London will bring the visitor to a tapestry as impressive as its famous medieval counterpart, which shows the soldiers going the other way.