A father-of-three was shocked when the ‘milk bottles’ he found buried in his garden were actually live grenades from World War II.
45-year-old James Osborne discovered two crates containing 48 active explosives in the corner of his home in the South Downs National Park where he used to host bonfires.
Huge blasts could be heard when the makeshift bombs were detonated in a controlled explosion.
The two crates of Self-Igniting Phosphorus grenades (SIP) were initially thought to be milk bottles but Mr. Osborne soon realized that they were something more dangerous when he noticed a sign on them which read: ‘AW bombs fire instantly on breaking in air.’
The items also started to smoke and he immediately called the police, who dispatched bomb disposal teams and emergency services.
The active bombs were then put in a sand-lined skip and detonated behind a wall of water the firefighters created.
The bombs were issued to Britain’s Home Guard during WWII for volunteers to throw at Nazi troops.
According to reports, around six million were made but most were buried and never used.
The father of three said that the spot where they found the explosives was a favorite area of his family.
“The chap with the digger was just scraping away and the tops of the bottles were showing out of the dirt,” he shared.
“They were white on top and there was a yellow liquid at the bottom. They were loose so we just pulled them out and stacked them up on the side.. But then they started to smoke so we called the police.”
He continued: “The idea is, if you were to throw them against a wall they would ignite and blow up, and because it had phosphorus in it, water would be useless. You can imagine the Home Guard throwing these at Nazi tanks coming down the road, you know Dad’s Army protecting the village.”
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