On 1st November 1943 the villagers of Imber, (an isolated village on Salisbury Plain), where given 47 days notice by the MOD to leave their homes. The village was taken over for military use, used by US forces for street fighting practice. Since then the village has been rarely open to the public bar the annual church service at St. Giles. The church tower was struck by lightning in 2003 and has now been restored, the village being accessible to the public between 18th December and 3rd January 2010.
A New Year’s Eve Peace Vigil, the eighth consecutive one to be held at Imber since 2002, will take place in St Giles’ Church at midday on Thursday 31 December 2009.