Deserted village of Imber remembered

Imber The event will involve storytelling and music

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A Wiltshire village that was deserted after being taken over by troops for training during the Second World War is being remembered at a special event.

People living in Imber, on Salisbury Plain, were evacuated in December 1943 and have never been allowed to return.

Fifty years ago, thousands of people marched into the village to protest at its continued use by the Army.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the village still plays a vital role in training troops for operations.

The event, at West Lavington Village Hall on Saturday, will be a day of celebration involving storytelling and music.

Organisers said they wanted people to remember the "ghost village".

Ruth Underwood, whose father Austin took part in the protest in 1961, said people living in Imber had been self-sufficient.

"It was very far away from Warminster, the nearest town, so it was very remote and yet because of that remoteness it was very attractive to the Army," she said.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "Imber village is an integral part of military training facilities on Salisbury Plain and plays a vital part in training troops for operations in Afghanistan.

"The MoD has maintained buildings within the village - including the medieval church - and also enhanced the site with additional training buildings.

"We allow people access to the village as often as we can, given Imber's important and ongoing role as an active military training feature."

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