Barrister dug up ‘milk bottles’ in his back garden only to find they were actually live grenades

Liam O'Dell@LiamODellUK
Sunday 02 May 2021 18:13
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The 45 grenades were disposed of via a controlled explosion

(ITV News)

The thought of digging up an old relic in the garden is many a homeowner’s dream, but not if the treasure turns out to be explosive.

Yet, this is what befell a barrister from Hamsphire after a landscape gardener working at his property in Bramdean unearthed two mysterious crates.

James Osborne, thought the items – which had been lying buried for 70 years – were old bottles at first.

That was until they started smoking, prompting the father-of-three to call the police and discover they were, in fact, World War Two grenades.

“Initially, we didn't realise how significant it was. They looked like milk bottles,” he told ITV Newson Friday.

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He continued: “So we were lifting them out and putting them on the side and thought we could carry on with the work.

“But a couple of them were smoking so we thought it best to call the police and then we had the fire brigade, about five or six ambulances all preparing for a controlled explosion.”

The phosophorus grenades were placed in a skip surrounded by a wall of water before a bomb disposal team got rid of the potentially lethal haul.

It’s believed that the explosives dated back to the 1940s, and were handed out to Home Guards to protect villages from any potential attack by the Nazis.

In a statement posted on social media, Winchester Police reassured residents that there was no need for alarm.

They explained that the big bang was simply “a military bomb disposal team safely carrying out a controlled explosion on some WW2 grenades dug up in a back garden earlier today.”

The force added: “In all just over 45 of the phosphorous grenades around the size of a milk bottle were located in the garden on Petersfield Road. They have now been disposed of. No one was hurt in the incident.”

According to LADBible, whilst Osborne said both him and his children considered the explosion to be “very exciting”, his youngsters complained about the smell that was left behind.

“It smells like rotten eggs,” said Osborne’s eigh-year-old son Alexander.

All we can say is, it could have been a lot worse.

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