Updated: Mar 11
Three days before Christmas 1943 the good people of Tyneham all 290 of them were told to pack their bags lock their doors and move out for the duration of the war, as the army was preparing for D_day the following year. Men, women and children were given just three weeks to evacuate before American tank crews could practice urban warfare.
The villages were told they could all return sometime in the future and that their properties would be respected. Tyneham was once described as a most beautiful Dorset country village, with its “chocolate box pretty” cottages and the red public phone box that for many connected Tyneham to the rest of the world.
On the door of the church the residents left a touching note saying “This is our home please look after it, we will come back after the war,". During the 1970s a team of historians made a detailed account of the state of this lost village and found outside the village post office, still with its poster “dig for victory “there were barbed wire entanglements and a sinister warning reading "warning keep out unexploded bombs". The old Tudor Manor house once the pride of the village now a ruin with no roof. In one cottage garden once voted best kept in the village is nothing more than a bed of weeds and every house in Tyneham showing decay.
Today you Can view the restored Church and school, and at Tyneham farm there are out buildings and a picnic area to explore.