THE father of a Wiltshire Unitary and Devizes Town councillor could be the last person to be buried at the ‘ghost’ village of Imber on Salisbury Plain.

Kelvin Nash, a former mayor of Devizes, says his father Ray Nash, who died on December 6 aged 87, lived in Imber as an infant.

Raymond left the village after his father died, relocating to his mother’s family home of Potterne Wick.

The village of Imber was subsequently evacuated in December 1943 during the Second World War to be used as a military training ground.

When the war ended in 1945, the residents were not allowed back and it has become a ‘ghost village’ that is only open to visitors a few times each year.

Ray’s great uncle, Albert Nash was the village blacksmith and one of the residents that was evacuated by the Government. Albert passed away shortly afterwards, and his official cause of death was that ‘he died of a broken heart’.

Mr Nash, 63, of Meadow Drive, said: “My father, Ray Nash, sadly died last week, and whilst somewhat out of the blue it was not entirely unexpected.

“Over the years, we have regularly visited Imber and talked about dad’s wish to be buried with his father Jim.

“Nothing unusual about that, however my grandfather died very young, in 1936, and is buried at St Giles Church, Imber – in the middle of Salisbury Plain Training Area.

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

Mr Nash added: “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.”

After leaving Potterne school, Ray Nash worked for Wards Motors of Devizes as a mechanic before completing his National Service in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

He later worked for Avon Rubber in Melksham before being made redundant, and then worked part-time.

His wife, Elaine, died two years ago aged 82. The couple had four children, Kelvin, David, Lawrence and Vicki.

His funeral will take place on Thursday, January 5 at St Giles Church by special arrangement with the MoD. More than 100 people are expected to attend.

If you wish to pay your respects, please contact Kelvin on 07588 68 58 68 for more details.