Wartime grenades are one of the most common types of unexploded ordnance (UXO) discovery in the UK.
It is not clear which type was found, however ‘Mills Bombs’ are frequently encountered. Millions of these munitions were distributed to Home Guard battalions all over Britain during WWII. Croydon was defended by the 60th Surrey (Home Guard) Battalion.
Additionally, many businesses stood up their own Home Guard platoons, who received some weapons and ammunition from the armed forces.
When the Home Guard was stood down in 1944, surplus ammunition was often simply buried as a hassle-free means of disposal. This accounts for many urban UXO finds, such as this grenade.
Should the public be concerned about such incidents?
Yes and no. Any item of UXO still containing explosives poses a hazard if mishandled. However, unexploded wartime relics require an impact to explode. The public are safe providing such devices are not tampered with prior to the arrival of a trained Explosive Ordnance Engineer.