Preparations for D-Day required vast areas of land to be put aside for the military. Salisbury Plain was one of those areas and the village of Imber could be found within it.
The village of Imber on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire was completely evacuated in late 1943.
Salisbury Plain was considered to be the perfect training ground for the planned 1944 landings in Normandy and the War Office took over the whole area and ordered that the people of Imber evacuate their properties.
The village inhabitants – 155 of them – were given no warning on November 1st 1943 when they were told that they had 47 days to leave.
The evacuation occurred in December 1943 so that the area around Imber could be used by American troops.
Compensation was offered to the former residents but it was limited.
Those that left expected to be allowed back to their homes after World War Two as they claim that they had been told that the evacuation would only be for six months. However, the Ministry of Defence decided that Salisbury Plain remained a vital military training area and the evacuation became permanent.
The village of Tyneham in Dorset was also evacuated as troops needed to practice amphibious landings in preparation for D-Day and the Dorset beaches were perfect for this.