Like everything else at Tyneham the outdoor telephone box seen in this photo has been frozen in time since 1943. It was in December of that year that the last residents of Tyneham left the village under the orders of Britain’s Southern Command, which needed the land to coördinate the war effort. Residents were promised they could return to Tyneham after the the war ended but the military kept the land.
Much has been written about the village and the decades long Fight for Tyneham, but not everyone sees the story the same way. As quoted by the BBC (Tyneham: Dorset’s lost D-Day village) researcher Lydia Price saw troubles looming for the village:
“While it was a traumatic experience, especially for the older residents, many people don’t appreciate it was basically a feudal set-up with people working for the Bond family.
“The coming of the motor car was a death knell – why only work in the fields when you could have a car and work elsewhere?,” she said.
- Tyneham & Worbarrow… where times stopped in 1943
- BBC: Tyneham: Dorset’s lost D-Day village
- Slideshow: Tyneham Ghost Village
- Fortean Times: Tyneham – Village of the Vanished
- Tyneham: A Lost Heritage, by Lilian Bond. For sale at Amazon.com
These photos appeared in the February, 1943, edition of “Bell Telephone Magazine”, accompanying an article titled “Camp Telephone Managers Render an Important Service”. The photos and captions paint a picture of the role public telephones played in military life during World War II. The photos also show what typical public telephone rooms and facilities were like in those days, with indoor unattended telephone rooms, outdoor booths, and even a mobile telephone truck. The captions in this photo gallery are taken directly from the magazine.