Tyneham Broke My Heart

How did the army occupation of Tyneham break your heart, Cy?

Social Media – Teddy refugee

Kick back. Take a deep breath. Here in the UK, it feels like September has arrived with mild weather and mellow fruitfulness promising the seeds of change.

Welcome to the online discussion about his major new novel, The Punished. Crooked Cat author Cy Forrest answers questions from his studio in a rural village just south of Bath.

What is The Punished all about, Cy?

On December 17th 1943, three years after Dunkirk, the occupants of a small village on the south coast of England were ordered out when the British Army invaded.

Yet another conspiracy theory, Cy?

No. There’s no conspiracy. The invasion of Tyneham by the British Army did happen and Tyneham’s still occupied to this day so put the tin foil hat away.

Is it important enough to affect me, Cy?

My writing is about empowering the reader and The Punished is an insight into what might really have happened on that dismal day in World War Two.

Cornerstones: “This story allows one person to see a greater whole: the reader, which I think is an immensely powerful possibility.”

The Punished is for those who want to make a leap into the unknown, because Tyneham is a no-go area to this day. No one can go and look for themselves. Questions remain unanswered:

Cornerstones: “Forces are at work to deliberately obfuscate and bury the truth and ultimately, the full picture is forever out of our reach.”

It’s hard to just leap into the uncharted territory of The Punished, so I want to talk about what inspired The Punished with an aim to reach out to people who are unsure about immersing themselves in something entirely new.

Why would I want to read about something new?

It broke my heart to see the disastrous moment in Dec 43 described on Wikipedia in such a matter-of-fact way. It tells of the army’s, “requisition just before Christmas” in entirely factual terms. The dispossessed are just numbers, a few lines in a long lost local history book. Yet, children were removed from the homes they were born in. One day’s notice was given and the army moved in ahead of schedule. People had nowhere to live for many years afterwards and their accounts are the sketchy and confused accounts of traumatised people coming to terms with the scale of how much they’d sacrificed to win a war. The landowners lost a lot too, but they had another manor to move to unlike the villagers who’d paid them rent for generations. Do you see why it breaks my heart to talk about it?

In 1947, a new government launched a national house building project and the refugees from Tyneham were rehoused in Wareham. But the story didn’t end there. Some wanted to return, or to be buried in the place where generations of their families had lived. A protest group of one was formed that continued into the nineteen-eighties gaining the support of prominent writers and politicians. The protest died out, but the reason for the continuing occupation of Tyneham hasn’t been explained.

How do I get The Punished?

If you want to see a greater whole at a preorder price of £1-99, The Punished is now on Amazon.

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