The ‘lost village’ of Imber, Wiltshire.

In mid 1943, the inhabitants of the village of Imber were given just over six weeks’ notice that they would need to leave their homes because the village and the surrounding area was needed for the war effort. The area became a training ground for American troops, particularly for men who would land in Normandy on and after D-Day.

A letter sent to the more than 100 villagers who had to leave the area said that “The Government appreciate that this is no small sacrifice which you are asked to make, but they are sure that you will give this further help towards winning the war with a good heart.” The government offered to provide compensation for the Villagers and offered to help any relocate if they could not do it themselves.

There was little protest about being evicted, although one farm owner had to be forcibly removed by the Army. The local Blacksmith was also found sobbing over his anvil when the army moved in, and was the first resident to die after the war and be brought back to Imber to be buried.

Photographs courtesy of:

www.joannarossiter.com, www.locksands.wordpress.com, www.edingtonwiltshire.org.uk, www.imberchurch.org.uk, www.bbc.co.uk

AddressImber, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12, UK
CountyWiltshire
Location typeOther
AccessPrivate
Site Ownership and Access InformationImber still remains as a Military training site and it is strictly off limits to the public, as well as the surrounding area, apart from on open days which are organised by the MOD. The village has mostly been reconstructed into mock-up buildings but the iconic church and pub still remains.
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