Poem: “The Tale of Tyneham” by Angela Wybrow

Nestling in the valley below Whiteway Hill,
There stands a village where time’s been standing still.
The villagers of Tyneham, they very well remember
The year of ’43 and that bitterly cold November.

The villagers went about their usual daily chores,
Oblivious to letters which headed to their doors.
To sell their homes, the folk found they had zero choice;
Against the government War Office, folk had zero voice.

The land, it was purchased for British Army training.
Within a single month, not a soul was left remaining.
Upon the church door, there was pinned a note –
Here is the gist of what somebody wrote:

“Please treat the houses and church with due care.
A flattened village, us folk really couldn’t bear.
We’re all really hoping to return home one day.
Please look after our village while we are away.’

The last folk left their homes prior to Christmas ‘43 –
They’d hoped to return, but sadly that wasn’t to be.
With the enemy so near, some folk were relieved,
But, for their little village, many people grieved.

Over two hundred folk found themselves displaced.
Of life in the village, there’s now such little trace.
The ravages of time have surely taken their toll;
Memories of residents, the village still beholds.

The church and the school, they still stand intact,
But, against the little houses, the odds were sadly stacked.
Upon school peg hooks, there are still pupils’ names,
And their work upon the desktops to this day remains.

In this small rural village on Dorset’s Jurassic coast,
There now only remains aged spirits and ghosts.
For the war effort, Tyneham played its part.
For our great nation, Tyneham gave its heart.

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