Operation Midland: Imber Village ‘Military Premises’


Imber Village

From Vikram Dodd’s latest story in The Guardian  HERE

In one instance Nick correctly described the interior of a military premises in southern England, where he claimed abuse had taken place. The details he provided were not publicly available, and the premises itself is not open to the public, making it likely he had been there at some stage, police concluded.


The “Military Premises” in question is Imber Village and it is open to the public at Easter and late Summer.- Imber Village Visitor Information

On the 28th July 2014 Nick wrote on his blog (now removed) about visiting the place the year before (Easter or late Summer 2013)

Some places however still hold such terror for me and for those places I have not been back since I was a child / teenager. I have even taken detours to avoid them. Last year however, I found myself having to go back to one particular place because of work. I could not refuse to go and my counsellor and I arranged a trip back so she would be there to support me. I decided that I had to drive, really just to give me something to do rather than just sit in the passenger seat. As the name of the town began to appear on the road signs, my anxiety started to increase and became stronger the nearer we got. It was my first time back since leaving as a child. As we got nearer, I was fighting back the tears and went quiet (something that is a survival tactic for me in times of high anxiety).

As soon as we entered the town, there was my old school and it didn’t seem to have changed much. I saw the place they used to park when picking me up and even after all these years, I could still retrace my walk home, and could still find our old houses. We went to look at another location nearby and after a while and with my counsellors help, the anxiety started to reduce and I was able to talk about the significance of everything.

I realise that there was nothing to be scared about now, yes bad things had happened there as a child, but it was many years ago and I was not that scared boy any longer. As a man, it held no fear for me now. Because this had gone reasonably well. I decided to go back to another location that is normally closed to the public. I did not feel the same level of anxiety driving to this location as I had done previously, whether that was because I had learnt there was nothing to be scared of, or whether it was the circumstances in which I was taken to this particular location, I don’t suppose I will ever know for sure.

However, this changed when I arrived and saw the buildings once again, my anxiety shot through the roof instantly and it took all my strength to continue. I was approached by a volunteer who wanted to make sure I was ok, and then asked me if I wanted to know about the area and have a tour. Without knowing it this broke some of my anxiety and I wanted to tell them that I knew the area very well unfortunately and perhaps I should give them a tour. They left me to roam myself and I went into a few buildings that as a child had been the site of torture, terror and pain. In one building there were still the hooks on the wall where I had been tied and all I could do is stand and stare at them and let the tears flow. I had to move outside to get some air and gather my thoughts and this in itself was such a surreal experience. It was a lovely warm day, and there were people, couples and families all enjoying a day out. Some people had brought picnics and the children were playing. Sounds of talking, laughter and excited screams from the children playing their games. All I remember was the darkness and the silence. The only screams that were heard were mine as they pierced the night and they were not screams of pleasure.

Here I was looking at all these people enjoying themselves with absolutely no comprehension of what had taken place there many years ago. And why should they, it was in the past, my past and they are much better off not knowing what their fellow man was capable of.


Filed under Abuse, News

20 responses to “Operation Midland: Imber Village ‘Military Premises’

  1. Pingback: Op Midland Were Unaware Of Nick’s Savile Allegation Before Bramall Raid | theneedleblog

  2. Elizabeth

    Imber village was taken over by the military during world war 2 for training because of its isolation, it is miles away from anywhere, most of the year no one goes there. Military excercises are arranged well in advance, anyone can view the schedule months in advance.

  3. jsc

    I was brought up on army bases in the UK and Germany in the 70’s. If your father (or step-father) was a senior figure (such as a Major, in the case of ‘Nick”s step-father ) then it would not be at all unusual for you to have been taken on occasion to parts of military premises which were not readily open to the public. I recall being taken to the Officers’ Mess and library for example, by my parents. Given he grew up in a military family Nick may very well have knowledge of the layout of military offices and properties, but that in itself does not amount to evidence that he was abused there. If he were able to provide detailed layouts of some property to which his family had no legitimate connection, e.g., the Dolphin Square apartments, or Heath’s or Proctor’s prIvate residences, then that would be far more compelling evidence in support of his allegations.

    • jsc

      Following IM’s points, the period during which Nick alleged that he was abused on military premises was the period during which army bases were key targets for the IRA. Therefore it would have been very difficult, though perhaps not impossible, for his abusers to have regularly smuggled him onto military property, in order to by-pass normal security procedures e.g. logging in and out. If the police cannot find evidence of Nick’s presence on the base in the company of his alleged abusers in the archived log books, then that casts serious doubt on his allegations, unless
      the log books for the period in question are normally preserved by the Army but in this case have been destroyed or lost. That would look suspicious. But, Midland will have followed up on all such lines of enquiry.

      • IM

        I agree JSC and I would hope that they would also have talked to sentry officers in the period to determine if the Major brought his stepson (or other boys) on to the base; if the Major was on the base outside scheduled work hours; if he returned to the base regularly following his retirement. They would presumably have looked to compare any such anomalies in the Major’s movements with the Field Marshall’s diaries. 40 years later however, I think it reasonable for everyone to have destroyed relevant documents.

  4. IM

    We would need to see a statement from Nick. Bramall said in interview the dates of abuse were unspecified. As I understand it, Nick also accused Sir Roland Gibbs, (who preceded Bramall) and the 1975 Imber village allegation may relate to Gibbs. Bramall superceded Gibbs in May 1976. I understand from Bramall’s interview that he was accused of first assaulting Nick in his office, which may suggest the first alleged assault by Bramall was after May 1976.

    Bramall stated that he did return from Hong Kong during his posting. He neither confirmed nor denied being in the Wilton/Salisbury area in 1975, stating he did not return to abuse young boys.

    Army employees/family who lived/worked in Wilton/Salisbury/ Erskine/ Larkhill in the 1975-1979 period should come forward if they have any information about these matters; however, It’s ‘he said, he said’ and the police cant take the case further without similar fact evidence.

    • tdf


      If I’m not mistaken, you seem to be advocating a trawl for evidence.

      • IM

        I understand that the concern with trawling for evidence is related to looking for other complainants. I’m not advocating that; rather that base employees might be asked whether they saw Nick as a boy in restricted areas in unusual circumstances or regularly. There should be logs of every person who entered and exited the base and presumably police sought those logs for the period. A young boy on base with his stepdad on occasion means nothing. A boy logged in for 1 hour every week would be odd. That said, I think it would take a whistleblower or similar complainant to take this case any further.

  5. BS

    Have you checked up on any other military premises, specifically ones where field marshalls and other senior military figures would have an office? It would be very interesting to know how many of those, if any, have open days for the general public where they can picnic on lawns and have the freedom to browse in and out of military buildings at will and totally alone.

  6. IM

    Can you say with certainty that the military premises was Imber Village? Could it be Bramall’s office?

  7. Ever thought about writing a post on how SIS groom and promote child abusers so they can blackmail them to control media and politics or is trivial and threadbare the needleblog way?

  8. dpack

    that he visited recently does not exclude the possibility he was taken there as a child but it would provide details that could seem to be convincing if he was not.

    as most active military facilities have at least some level of random security patrols (as well as cameras etc etc ) even when not in use .
    it would be an odd choice of venue even for an “insider” as the risk of a couple of wandering squadies finding the scene whilst patrolling would make it a poor choice for extended and noisy clandestine activities.

    imho the imber story is ambiguous as evidence of abuse or as a smoking gun to falsehood even in light of nick’s blog post .
    i would expect an experienced police team to treat it as dubious if they were aware of nick’s recent visit but if that visit was unknown to them they might have failed to check things such as security arrangements at quiet times during the period of his alleged abuse there. if he failed to mention or denied the recent visit to them that would put his account into some considerable dought.

    his reply in the twitter exchange does seem to indicate a source other than the met for dodd’s story.

  9. Pingback: » VIP Abuse Claims: New Evidence of “Nick’s” Credibility Crumbles As Old Blog Post Resurfaces Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion

  10. Parsonage

    It’s incredible the tenacity with which senior Met plods are defending the indefensible – there must be more to it than mere back covering, some much
    deeper play in progress.

    “Most of the detectives drawn from the Met’s sexual abuse and homicide divisions believe Nick is credible.”

    Where did Dodd get this gem from, Hogan Howe?

  11. joekano76

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.

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