A little bit of Canada has been planted on a quiet corner in Buriton in memory of the servicemen who briefly called the village their home.

A plaque dedicated to the Canadian troops who were based around the parish in the build-up to D-Day has been installed next to a maple sapling in the village.

The tribute on the corner of Petersfield Road and Glebe Road was unveiled last Thursday to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the landings.

The ceremony brought back memories for Jill Brooker, Mary Owens and Keith Passingham as the lifelong Buriton residents all remember the North American visitors.

Two or three dozen Canadian troops camped in the village close to hedgerows and foliage in camouflaged tents before disappearing on the night of the landings.

“They appeared bit by bit and then suddenly the Canadians were all over the place,” said Mary Owens.

“Some of them camped on Heatherfield, North Lane – sometimes they gave us chocolate.

“We didn’t know when they were going or what was happening. But then suddenly they had gone, and they disappeared quietly in the middle of the night.”

The trio shared wartime stories at the ceremony and recalled how they went outside to watch a doodlebug flying overhead instead of taking cover.

The plaque and planting were instigated by the Buriton Village Association and was a decade in the making as research started ten years ago. Some older residents thought the troops and their “tanks” were American before a visiting Canadian told them otherwise.

“We suspect the unit which camped here was a small offshoot of a larger unit,” said BVA chair, Doug Jones.

“This tree is only a little gesture but it’s the least we can do for the brave men, some of whom didn’t come back.”