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Man Shocked After 'Milk Bottles' Dug Up In Garden Turn Out To Be Live Grenades

Dominic Smithers

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Man Shocked After 'Milk Bottles' Dug Up In Garden Turn Out To Be Live Grenades

Featured Image Credit: Solent News

A dad-of-three was amazed when the 'milk bottles' he found buried in his garden were, in fact, live grenades dating back to the Second World War. Watch footage of them being detonated below:

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James Osborne, from Bramdean, Hampshire, dug up two crates of makeshift bombs in an area of his six-acre estate where he usually has bonfires.

According to reports, it's believed the explosives had been handed out to Dad's Army-style Home Guard groups back in the 1940s to defend villages from a potential Nazi invasion.

It's thought that around six million of these were made and distributed during the war.

After contacting the authorities, all 48 bombs were detonated in a controlled explosion, with a huge bang and giant mushroom cloud of smoke billowing into the air above the 45-year-old's home.

Mr Osborne, a barrister, said: "We used to have roasting bonfires on this spot here. It could have been a disaster.

"The chap with the digger was just scraping away and the tops of the bottles were showing out of the dirt.

"They were loose so we just pulled them out and stacked them up on the side. But then they started to smoke so we called the police.

"They were white on top and there was a yellow liquid at the bottom.

James Osborne dug up two crates of bombs. Credit: Solent News
James Osborne dug up two crates of bombs. Credit: Solent News

"The idea is, if you were to throw them against a wall they would ignite and blow up, and because it had phosphorus in it, water would be useless.

"You can imagine the Home Guard throwing these at Nazi tanks coming down the road - you know, Dad's Army protecting the village.

"This used to be the rector's house so it would have been one of the earliest buildings in the village and, because of who lived here, it could have been one of the main meeting spots of the local Home Guard."

Following his call, a bomb disposal unit raced to the scene, placing the grenades in a sand-lined skip and making sure everyone was at a safe distance.

Winchester Police took to social media to explain to local residents what was going on so that they weren't too surprised.

A statement from the force read: "If you live or were travelling through the Bramdean area this evening around 7.40pm and heard a large explosion don't be alarmed.

The makeshift bombs had to be detonated. Credit: Solent News
The makeshift bombs had to be detonated. Credit: Solent News

"It was a military bomb disposal team safely carrying out a controlled explosion on some WW2 grenades dug up in a back garden earlier today."

Despite the scary situation, Mr Osborne said it was 'very exciting'.

"We were waiting in anticipation to see how big the explosion was going to be," he said.

"Even the bomb disposal guys were saying that they didn't expect the blast to be that big. I think one of them said there shouldn't have been that many flames afterwards.

"It was incredible, very exciting for the kids."

Mr Osborne's children Rocco, 9, Alexander, 8, and Sophia, 5, were amazed at the find but didn't like the smell that much.

Alexander said: "It smells like rotten eggs. If you go down there [to where the bombs exploded] it smells really eggy."

Topics: Police, History, Explosion, World War Two

Dominic Smithers
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