The D-Day Memorial

D Day Memorial

Designed by the Gosport Society and funded by the Society with Gosport Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, the D Day memorial to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the building of the Phoenix caissons at Stokes Bay can be seen on the promenade close to the Stokes Bay Sailing Club compound. It was placed at this spot because fourteen of the Phoenix B2  units were constructed close by. In dry weather, if you look beyond the memorial you may be able to see, showing through the grass, the marks of the rolling ways used to move one of the huge caissons onto the launching way before dragging it, partly constructed, into the sea. The launching slipway was close to this location.

The design is taken from a drawing by Wendy Osborne:

The memorial reads:
This plaque commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the building along
this shore of 14 concrete pierheads from October 1943 to April 194.
These formed part of the walls and floating piers of the Mulberry
Harbours which were a major contribution of the success of
Operation Overlord and the ending of the Second World War in Europe.

Donated by the Gosport Society with financial support from
Hampshire County Council & Gosport Borough Council.

Artwork by Wendy Osborne – Casting by Manor Foundry (Ilkston) Ltd.

D Day Memorial plaque

To be precise, the Phoenix units were part of the breakwaters rather than the pierheads. They were towed to the site and sunk to form breakwaters for the floating roadways and pierheads. They were sunk where high tide would be about 10 feet below the top so they would always afford a barrier to waves entering the harbour.

147 Phoenixes of six different types in total were ordered. Fourteen of the smaller B2 types were constructed in two separate sites at Stokes Bay. The memorial stands at the east Phoenix construction site.