Ipswich: Man clearing out garden describes shock of discovering German Second World War bomb in coal shed

Mike Riches has described the moment he found a German Second World War incendiary bomb hidden among pieces of junk in an old coal house which had been locked up since the 1970s. Mike Riches has described the moment he found a German Second World War incendiary bomb hidden among pieces of junk in an old coal house which had been locked up since the 1970s.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
11:23 PM

An Ipswich man made an unusual discovery as he cleared out his garden yesterday – when finding an unexploded bomb.

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Mike Riches has described the moment he found a German Second World War incendiary bomb hidden among “pieces of junk” in an old coal house which had been locked up since the 1970s.

Bomb disposal experts were called to the property in Cowper Street yesterday after Mr Riches alerted the police to the shock discovery.

A section of the street was cordoned off and people in houses in the area were evacuated before a controlled explosion was carried out at around 4.40pm. The road reopened at around 5.10pm.

“How it got there I have no idea,” Mr Riches, in his mid-70s, said. “You hear about these things from time to time but for it to actually happen to you is very unexpected. It was very odd.

“I don’t know how long it has been there but I don’t think anyone has been in the coal house since the 1970s.”

The retired commercial horticulturist said he was “never worried” when coming across the device, which weighed around one kilogram and was about 18 inches 
long.

“I’ve read up on these things before and was never perturbed. I was clearing out mainly pieces of junk in the coal shed when I came across something heavier.

“I thought ‘oh hello, what’s this?’ I then brought it out in to the open and realised what it was.

“I put it out in the garden, under some shrubs, and called the police.”

He said the bomb disposal experts, thought to have been drafted in from Colchester, did a good job in safely detonating the device before police called residents telling them it was safe to return to their homes.

“It is an absolute mystery why and how it got there,” Mr Riches added. “It is just one of those odd things.”

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