In November 1943, as the Second World War raged in Europe, a tiny village near the Dorset
coast was busy preparing for Christmas. Despite the conflict, the community had remained
much as it always had been: the big house, church, school, post office and farms. And then a
bombshell – the whole parish had to be evacuated within 28 short days to provide a training
ground for the Normandy invasion. Despite promises to the contrary, the villagers were never
allowed to return to live in their homes and today all that remains are a few deserted buildings
and the precious memories of the last inhabitants.
Andrew Norman has gathered the recollections of one of these, Helen Taylor, who was a seamstress
at Tyneham House, to help present a vivid portrait of what had been a thriving community,
which now lives in the hearts of those who sacrificed their homes for their country.
Andrew Norman was born in Newbury, Berkshire and educated at
Thornhill High School, Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and at
St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he read animal physiology. In December
1970, he graduated in medicine from the Radcliffe Infirmary and entered
into general practice in Poole, Dorset. In 1983, he sustained a back injury
which forced him to give up his medical career: he is now a fulltime writer.
ISBN 978 184114 698 0, hardback, (also available in paperback), 148x210mm, 112 pages. Published January 2008.