Did you know there is a lost village in Norfolk where all the locals were forced out of their homes?

The deserted village and civil parish of Tottington sits just over six miles north of Thetford.

Its earliest record in the Domesday book was in 1086, recorded by the name of Totintune with the main landholder down as Ralph FitzHelwin.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Former villagers returned to Tottington in 2005 and visit the areas where the village once stoodFormer villagers returned to Tottington in 2005 and visit the areas where the village once stood (Image: Sonya Duncan)

The army took over control of the land in 1942 to use the village as part of the Stanford Battle Area to train soldiers for combat during the Second World War.

The ranges were needed to prepare soldiers for Operation Overlord, the Battle of Normandy in 1944, and villagers had to surrender their homes.

Some refused to leave the thriving village and heated meetings ensued, while others were happy to help the war effort.

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Despite promises of being able to return, villagers were never permitted at the end of the war, following orders from the War Office.

Many of the residents were not landowners and were placed into council housing.

READ MORE: 7 of Norfolk's ghostly deserted villages now left as ruins

They fought to return to their homes and farms until the need for training areas for the Cold War.

Donald Balls was serving as a signalman for the Royal Air Force in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) when he was told by his family they were being forced out of their home near Thetford in 1942. He died in 2019 at the age of 98.

The village remains within the Ministry of Defence’s Thetford infantry training area and access is not permitted without special permission