FOR the eighth year running Walditch has been invaded - by the Americans.

Or at least they look like Americans and that's thanks to re-anactors who pay tribute every year to the 400 or so US soldiers who were billeted in the village before being sent on the D-Day landings.

Bridport living historian Cheryl Ludgate has been involved in the event every year it's been held.

She said: "For the eight years they have been guests of The Hyde where the US 16th Infantry Regiment 2nd Battalion E Company were camped prior to D-Day. Hyde house itself was the officers' mess.

"The soldiers camped as usual under the trees in their original tents which were open at the ends - can you imagine those chaps coming over from the southern states in November '43 to a chilly English winter?

"So the re-enactors felt they had to honour them by doing it in the same way in the same kit."

During the weekend the group took part in drills and training exercises with original equipment, undertook the typical 'spit and polish' of guns and uniforms and listened to lectures.

On Saturday afternoon The Hyde put on some entertainment with an accordionist singing war-time songs a.

In the evening they marched down the hill in their smart uniforms to The Woodman for some English beer.

The annual church parade and service took place on Sunday when Robin Stapleton, the villager who has done so much to get the Americans' presence in the village recorded for posterity, talked about the life they led here and what they had been told to expect about English people.

The service in St Mary's in Walditch was taken by the Rev Pete Stone, team vicar as well as being a TA Padre.

After the service there was an opportunity to view a small exhibit depicting E& G Companies in the village and on D-Day.