Alert as woodland walker discovers hand grenade

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A HAND grenade was destroyed in a controlled explosion after being discovered by a walker in Mildenhall.

Police received a report at 1.10pm last Friday that an unexploded hand grenade had been discovered on woodland adjacent to Mildenhall Cemetery, in Thetford Road.

The grenade was found by a walker who dialled 999 to report the discovery.

Police attended the scene, confirmed the discovery and contacted a bomb disposal team from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment of the The Royal Logistic Corps based at Colchester.

A spokesman from the bomb disposal team said that when Lieutenant Chris Jones inspected the grenade, he found that the grenade was live and took the decision for it to be destroyed in a controlled explosion.

The controlled explosion was carried out just before 4pm.

Local resident Mrs Chadwick said she heard a loud popping sound when the explosion was carried out but that it was not loud enough to cause alarm.

Lt Jones said: “Destroying the grenade in situ was the safest thing to do in the circumstances.

“The person did exactly the right thing in calling the police as soon as they found the grenade and not moving it.

“We would encourage people to raise the alarm if they do have concerns about any suspect items they find. It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Roy Silverlock, who has researched the military history of Forest Heath, said it was likely the area had been used for military training exercises during World War Two and the grenade may have been left there then.

He said: “The area around Mildenhall was used for training perhaps by the Army and the Home Guard.

“The most likely explanation would be that the Home Guard were practising there.”

While conducting research into the Mildenhall area, Mr Silverlock discovered a concrete mortar mount in the town’s other cemetery on Kingsway .

He said it was likely this was used by the Home Guard, reinforcing the suggestion that the woodland may have been used by them during World War Two.