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The 'lost' village of Tyneham

Tyneham was a quiet Dorset village which lost several villagers who fought as soldiers in the Great War. The village war memorial records their sacrifice. "All men must die. It is only given to the few to die for their country".

 

However Tyneham itself made a greater sacrifice in 1943 when the village was closed down for D-Day preparations. It never re-opened. The villagers had expected to return at the end of the war but by 1948 the War Department had decided to keep the land as an extension to army training areas and the tank gunnery range at Lulworth.

 

Today the hillside opposite is littered with range targets - knocked out vehicles - and the surrounding woodland contains unexploded shells and so many shell splinters that the trees cannot be cut down with a chain saw.

 

The atmosphere is strange, people pay £3 a day to park next to an idyllic beach at weekends and walk among the ruins. Weekdays the area is strictly off-limits as shells still fly over daily. The guns can be heard booming 10 miles away.

 

www.flickr.com/photos/barryslemmings/sets/72157594189461768/ to view the whole Tyneham photo set.

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Taken on July 3, 2010