Ghost village deserted since World War II to host funeral for one of its last residents

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He later became the first resident to die and be brought back to Imber for burial.

To be buried in Imber – which is only open to visitors a few times each year – a person needs to have been born in or to have lived in the village.

While there have been several burials over the years, it is believed Ray’s funeral is only the second to take place in the village – the last taking place in 2012.

Mr Nash said: “Dad lived in the village for a short time, and was christened in Imber, so he qualifies for a burial there.

“I don’t imagine there are many, if any, other former residents remaining, so dad’s funeral will be the second and quite possibly the last funeral to take place since the 1943 evacuation.”

‘It’s a rare occasion’ 

Mr Nash’s wife, Elaine, died two years ago at the age of 82. The couple had four children, Kelvin, David, Lawrence and Vicki, and now have 24 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on Thursday, January 5, by special arrangement with the Ministry of Defence.

Neil Skelton, volunteer custodian at the village’s St Giles Church since 2005, has been assisting the family in organising the funeral.

He said: “I was only too pleased to be able to help the family – it’s a rare occasion. There may or may not be another one.”

Access will be restricted to mourners.

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