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Very good. It’s a similar story to one of a farmer I met whose father had given up land for RAF Upper Heyford. When the USAF moved out he naturally assumed that he’d be able to reclaim it, er no. As I understood it apparently the construction of the hardened aircraft shelters meant that the land’s use had changed- disqualifying him from his claim to it.
The main difference with his case and Imber is that the latter is still being used by the army- RAF Upper Heyford has been flogged off to private business.
I would suggest that the main difference was that the vast majority of the residents of Imber flogged their land to the War Office in the 1920s and became tenants with a tenancy clause that they could be evicted at any time.
When the residents moved out, they left tinned provisions behind because they thought it would only be six months before they would move back. After 4 years of war and severe rationing and knowing that the village would be used "for military purposes."
And 6 months? You'd almost think that they knew that D-Day was planned for May of the following year and that Germany would capitulate immediately.
Obviously, the blacksmith died of a broken heart. It couldn't possibly have been because he was almost 70.
And the timber staircase had to be replaced having been shot full of holes - despite there being no bullet holes in the walls.