The Women Of Valour WW2 Museum in Normandy, France, is the first ever (private) museum dedicated to all the women who contributed to Allied victory in WW2, expected to be completed by the end of 2021 for private viewings.
The museum will be set up to educate all generations on the many vital roles women played, and what impact they have made in today’s society. The museum has exhibition space of more than 200 m2 (700 sq.ft) on two floors, and will display military women’s uniforms, living history dioramas, memorabilia, personal stories of many women who served their country - on the home front as well as the front line, and much much more.
Phase One completed on International Women's Day, 8 March 2021!
Works to create the exhibition spaces started in January 2021, and we are pleased and proud to announce that Phase One is completed. This exciting news made headlines in the regional French newspaper "Ouest France" (translation and more photos below):
A museum to highlight the role of women during the war
Mike and Deborah van den Dobbelsteen, based in Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle in La Manche, created a museum dedicated to women during World War II. The couple are hoping for an opening in September 2021.
Mike and Deborah van den Dobbelsteen, a Dutch-British couple living in Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle in La Manche since 2016, are continuing the development of their museum, in an old stone building dating from 1758 Located at Le Pont de la Pierre, one of the high places of the Battle of Elle, which took place on June 12 and 13, 1944, it has been renovated over the years. The couple also allows visitors who wish to stay a few days in their guest rooms, decorated in the 1940s.
Upon entering their house, we immediately see that time is frozen 80 years ago. Both passionate about history, the idea of making a museum dedicated to women during the war came to them.
"It is important and necessary to remember the role of women during the war"
"This is my baby," Deborah exclaims, laughing out loud. “It is important and necessary to remember the role of women during war. Especially since there is no museum dedicated to them. We are the only ones in the world to do so. We also want to share our passion with others ”, specifies the couple.
Composed mostly of donations and internet purchases, the couple's rich collection includes 130 British and American costumes. Several services are represented, including the Royal Air Force, nursing services, female airplane pilots and waitresses "who served donuts and coffee to soldiers who went to the front".
"We received no subsidy"
Despite the moral support of the communities, the couple did not receive the financial aid so hoped for at the start of the project. “We have been taking the steps for four years. However, the Normandy region believes that Deborah is not qualified for the museum. Suddenly, it blocks everything and we received no subsidy, "regrets the couple, who still continue to develop the museum with their personal funds. To date, only one part is almost ready. And in the long term, six exhibition rooms will make up the museum, with costumes and objects of all kinds.
Due to the health crisis, Mike's activity as a historian and battlefield guide has come to a halt. This therefore allows the couple to fine-tune their project together, devoting time to it every day, to welcome future visitors in good conditions. “We hope to be able to open in September**. "
**It is expected that the main part of the museum will be open by the end of this year
[translation by Google]