Explosive wartime relic dug up at Sussex coast building site
An item of UXO has been discovered on a building site in Sussex. Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts attended the scene and identified the item as a mortar bomb from WWII.
The safest and quickest place to dispose of small UXO items found in coastal locations is in shallow water. As such, the army team blew up the mortar on the beach, using plastic explosives.
What was a mortar bomb doing here?
Throughout the early years of WWII, Littlehampton was a garrison town. The War Office closed the beaches to public access and set about fortifying them with obstacles and minefields. Army units requisitioned various buildings and set about establishing gun and mortar positions. Thousands of inhabitants were evacuated to the countryside as Littlehampton became a ghost town.
Burial of ammunition caches was not uncommon in coastal locations during the war. After the threat of invasion had passed many of these remained buried and forgotten about. Consequently, present day finds, such as this mortar bomb, are not uncommon.
Assessing UXO Risks
The majority of sites in the UK are classed as low risk, however, stories like this remind us that UXO is still found unexpectedly from time to time! With a 24-hour turnaround a Preliminary UXO Risk Assessment is the most cost-effective and fastest way of discounting UXO risks for your site.