A COUNCIL leader has supported pleas to protect a valuable D-Day artefact.
The historic map room at Southwick House, near Fareham, played a crucial role in the build-up to D-Day but now faces an uncertain future after the Ministry of Defence announced its intention to sell the site.
Allied commanders used the floor-to-ceiling wall map in the room to co-ordinate the Normandy landings.
After more than 70 years, the map, which has the forces’ positions at 0630 hours – D-Day H-Hour – has remained unchanged.
The announcement from the MoD earlier this year led to fears that the map could be removed and now Councillor Roy Perry has written a letter to Historic England to help keep the map at its current place.
Cllr Perry wrote to the government service asking it to change Southwick House’s Grade II listing status to support a request by Southwick and Widley Parish Council.
The amendments would prevent the map being separated from the house.
He said: ‘Acknowledging the historical value of this site is essential, as it tells future generations how people, events and aspects of past life are connected through a place, to the present.
‘D-Day was an event of such significance for Hampshire, and the whole of Europe, and I strongly support amendments to the listing of Southwick House to ensure its critical role in history is protected.’