Grenade encountered in a farmer’s field, Gloucestershire
An unexploded hand grenade has been reported to the authorities. The incident occurred in a field at Grey Hill Farm near Gloucester. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) engineers attended the scene and destroyed the item in a controlled explosion.
EOD teams will not transport live grenades where possible. Instead, they will destroy items of this small size on local open ground.
The exact identity of this hand grenade was not reported. The most common WWI / WWII British grenade was the Mills Bomb.
Why was this hand grenade where it was?
The number of soldiers in England swelled greatly with the influx of Allied armies during WWI and WWII. In response, the British War Office requisitioned public land throughout the UK. The armed forces then used this additional land for training and accommodation.
During WWII, armed Home Guard soldiers patrolled the countryside. They accessed and trained on civilian land. They are also known to have buried caches of ammunition in tactical positions, to be used in the event of invasion. Decades of post-WWII agricultural ploughing can exhume even fairly deeply buried UXO.
Unexploded ammunition finds, such as this grenade, highlight the hazardous legacy of historic army camps. The only way to ensure the greatest chance of identifying historic military activity is by commissioning a Brimstone Stage 1 Preliminary UXO Risk Assessment.