3 June to 9 June 2024

10am and 2pm

HMS Belfast

Standard £43.45 | Members £18

Includes admission to HMS Belfast

The Story of HMS Belfast on D-Day

A guided tour on HMS Belfast

Led by IWM’s expert guides, discover the role the crew of HMS Belfast played in D-Day, 80 years ago. 

From firing some of the first shots of the naval bombardment to treating the wounded and clearing the beaches, HMS Belfast is one of only three surviving ships from the massive bombardment fleet involved in Operation 'Neptune', the amphibious assault on the beaches of Normandy. 

Told through the oral histories of the crew, this hour-by-hour tour will take you chronologically through the events of 6 June 1944. From the Ops Room to the Gun Platforms and the Sickbay, explore the story of a ship which played a vital part in D-Day.

Ted Cordery's Story

Ted Cordery: “And I felt so sorry for those men on those landing craft because they were loaded up with guns and, and material packs, you know, whatever, by the army do they load their men up, don’t they? 

And they, probably a lot of them were seasick. And then they have a bumpy because the flat bottom, flat bottom was always like this, you know, that's why they have a hull, isn't it, so you can cut through the water. And then I was looking at them as we were passing them and I thought to myself, you know, some of those men, but they're probably having a terrible time now and when they’re dropped off, they’ve got to start fighting. It’s asking a lot, isn't it? It’s asking a lot, I think so, you know and because so many of them didn't, didn't make it because they were dropped too far from the land, but for whatever reason, the ship, the landing craft would drop its kedge anchor so it could pull itself off, but some of them never got right into land when the, the troops broke out, went straight into deep water and drowned.  

Then we will land in a short afternoon, and I must tell you this, I was alone on the beach and a Frenchman came by an elderly man because I was only 20, an elderly man, and he spat at me. He was on a cycle, and I thought myself, you old...I won't tell you what I said. So, got hold of him and my POC go, so course I let him go because I was going to pull him off his cycle and throw it in the sea, that’s what I intended to do. 

Anyway, he called me back. This man went on and because I started to think, what has he got to thank me for when I might have blown his blooming house apart? You see, you know, and I, I thought I thought to myself, but I'm, I'm sorry I took that attitude to him because what has he got to thank us for because if he lived in that area, that area was shattered with bombs and shells, and not to mention the RAF as well, you know, so there are things I think of sometimes.”  

Ted Cordery served on board the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Belfast from 1943-1944 as a Leading Torpedoman. On 6 June 1944, the Allies launched the invasion of France – D-Day. Ted was on board HMS Belfast and remembers watching landing craft pass the ship, knowing the dangerous task the troops they carried would face once they landed on the beaches.

Watch this clip featuring Ted remembering D-Day and telling what happened when he stepped foot on French soil.

Important Information

This tour explores lower and upper decks accessible by vertical ladder only. Unfortunately, it is impossible for wheelchair users and may not be suitable for those with restricted mobility.

The tour deals with mature themes and is not suitable for young children.

You May Also Like


Life on Deck: A Guided Tour

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast leaving Scapa Flow for the Normandy beaches in June 1944. The cruiser is reported to have fired some of the first shots on D-Day.
© IWM (A 25665)

HMS Belfast and D-Day

Watch IWM curator John Delaney explore the significance of what the ship and her crew did that day - and hear the voices of the men who were on board and witnessed the events first hand. Discover the role HMS Belfast played on D-Day.

A painting of HMSB firing its guns off Normandy coast in July 1944
© IWM (Art.IWM ART 16569)

D-Day at sea: Operation Neptune

On 6 June 1944, two naval task forces landed over 132,000 ground troops on the beaches of Normandy as part of Operation Neptune, the seaborne invasion of northern France which made D-Day possible. HMS Belfast played a pivotal role in Operation Neptune and the opening bombardment of D-Day. Join IWM curator Nigel Steel on-board the ship to explore the story.