Gardener unearths wartime grenade

A SPOT of weekend gardening sparked a right to-do in one Suffolk village when a Second World War hand grenade was unintentionally unearthed.

Simon Tomlinson

A SPOT of weekend gardening sparked a right to-do in one Suffolk village when a Second World War hand grenade was unintentionally unearthed.

Brian Dade was using a mechanical digger to uproot tree stumps in a neighbour's garden in Horham, near Eye, when he scooped the ordnance out of the ground.

The 52-year-old, of The Street, said: “I was getting the roots out and flicked the grenade up. It didn't look like a half a brick or something you would expect to find and you could clearly see it was a grenade.

“I set it down to the side of the garden and carried on working, while Pip phoned the police.”

The garden's owner, Pip Florance, 61, said: “I was quite surprised when Brian called out and said he had found a hand grenade in my back garden.

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“You couldn't tell whether it had a pin in it or not because it was so rusty.”

Officers from Suffolk police were dispatched to assess the device at around 11am on Saturday and drafted in the help of an Army bomb disposal unit from Colchester.

Villagers watched on as the crew from the Royal Logistics Corps moved the grenade to a nearby field where there was more space to safely carry out a controlled explosion.

The drama made Mr Dade the talk of the village when he went down the community centre that night.

He said: “Pip's phone started ringing because there were police cars outside her house and people were wondering what was happening. I drank out on that story last night.”

The land where the grenade was found was previously part of RAF Horham, a disused Second World War airfield, and it is also thought the area may have once been used by the Home Guard.

The village was at the centre of a drama nearly four years ago when an American helicopter based at RAF Mildenhall made an emergency landing on a farm after developing a fault.

simon.tomlinson@eadt.co.uk