WWI Grenades drama in Suffolk village

A PROPERTY developer and her son had a lucky escape after unexploded World War One grenades were discovered in a picturesque Suffolk village.The three grenades were discovered in the grounds at Broad Oak, an 1860 house set in more than six acres in the centre of Great Finborough, near Stowmarket.

By John Howard

A PROPERTY developer and her son had a lucky escape after unexploded World War One grenades were discovered in a picturesque Suffolk village.

The three grenades were discovered in the grounds at Broad Oak, an 1860 house set in more than six acres in the centre of Great Finborough, near Stowmarket.

The property is currently being converted by a team of craftsmen and landscapers into a £1.6 million residence with paddocks.


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Developer Alison Campbell's son Joe Spencer, 13, and one of his friends discovered the grenades yesterday.

The youngsters thought they were simply harmless junk and threw two of them on to a rubbish fire, leaving the third by an oil tank.

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One later exploded, spraying shrapnel into the area when no-one was around, and the other failed to detonate.

As soon as Ms Campbell spotted the third by the tank she called the police and the bomb disposal squad arrived within an hour from Colchester, Essex.

Police were also called to the scene and the site cordoned off, with neighbours alerted to the situation.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said the three devices were shrapnel grenades thought to date back to about 1916, which were simply removed safely for disposal.

Ms Campbell, who lives in the Norwich area, said: “They were live and there were three of them, we believe two were filled with explosives.

“There were about the size of old fashioned milk bottles and dated back to the First World War.

“I am really relieved the children are fine, this could have been absolutely disastrous, but they are safe and well.

“This is the biggest property I have converted to date and nothing like this has ever come to light before. Thankfully no-one was hurt and the police and bomb squad were fantastic and came out so fast, responding immediately.”

At the neighbouring post offices and stores new owners Nigel and Jeannette Edwards said it was the talk of the community.

Mrs Edwards said: “We had no idea Great Finborough was so exciting, this is the talk of the village. “One young girl came in and said nothing really exciting happens and people are all chatting about it.”

Police first received a call to the property at about 10.55am yesterday and sealed the site off in readiness for the bomb disposal truck to arrive and deal with the situation.

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