NEARLY £1,500 raised by the annual vintage bus service from Warminster to Imber in September has been donated to the Royal British Legion.

The charity was chosen in memory of Corporal Mark Palin, who was killed in Afghanistan this summer.

His widow Carla works for the traffic commissioner for the west of England, one of the event’s organisers.

Five vintage Routemaster red buses ran hourly to the Salisbury Plain village, which was taken over by the Army during the Second World War.

The village was opened by the MoD for eight days and many passengers attended the annual service at St Giles Church, although others just went along for the bus ride.

A total f £1,416.65 was donated to the Royal British Legion for its work supporting serving and ex-service people and their families, including those who have fought and died in Afghanistan.

The Transport for London Commissioner Peter Hendy, who owns one of the buses, organises the special annual event.

He said: “Imber hasn’t had a bus service since 1943, so taking members of the public into the village is a unique experience for many, because it’s off limits for most of the year.

“The village encapsulates so much history and beauty that it is a real privilege to go and see.

“Each year the bus service raises money for a charity and this year we decided to donate the fares to the Royal British Legion, in memory of Cpl Mark Palin, whose sacrifice we wanted to honour.”

The British Legion’s director of fundraising Russell Thompson accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity.

He said: “We’re honoured to accept this donation from the Imber bus service and very grateful to everyone who contributes to the Legion’s vital work in support of our Armed Forces families.

“We spend £1.4million every week in direct welfare support, so every single penny counts.”