A cache of anti-tank grenades from World War Two has been destroyed in a controlled explosion after being found on a building site in Wiltshire.

A bomb squad was called at about 16:00 GMT on Wednesday after the incendiary devices were dug up by builders in Wingfield Road, Trowbridge.

The phosphorus grenades had to be removed from heavy clay soil before being exploded just after midnight. Residents nearby were warned to stay indoors with windows and doors shut.

During the controlled explosion, Wingfield Road was closed to traffic but has since reopened.

The History of Phosphorus Grenades

Phosphorus grenades were issued to the Home Guard during World War Two. The devices were used as improvised anti-tank weapons when Britain was facing possible invasion following the evacuation from Dunkirk.

The Home Guard were notorious for ill-disciplined storage and the unauthorised disposal of ammunition. Therefore, such finds are not uncommon in England. Britain produced more than six million SIP grenades during WWII.

Avoid UXO incidents disrupting your construction programme

You can identify historic military activity on your site by commissioning a Brimstone Stage 1 Preliminary UXO Risk Assessment. If you require advice for your site, please get in touch with our commercial team.

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