Honiton device revealed to be German fire bomb

The bomb discovered at Whittons Auctioneers in Dowell Street Honiton.

The bomb discovered at Whittons Auctioneers in Dowell Street Honiton. - Credit: Archant

Experts from the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit are now on site at Whittons Auctioneers in Honiton.

A police car outside Whittons Auctioneers

A police car outside Whittons Auctioneers - Credit: Archant

The bomb is a German incendiary bomb that dates back 70 years to World War Two.

Also in the box were diffusers and other parts.

Neighbourhood beat manager Steve Lee said: “It is essentially a collection of trophies. They are currently being assessed by the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit who are on scene.

“We are very glad that our training has kicked in and that the public are safe. We are trained for such events and our contingency plan have come into full effect.”

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Earlier today the Honiton auction room had to be evacuated this morning after one of the owners uncovered a wartime mortar bomb.

Edward Whitton, said he had ‘no idea’ that the bomb was in the sealed box, which was consigned in a large quantity of containers.

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The auction house, on Dowell Street, has been sealed off by police, who confirmed the bomb squad was en route to Honiton.

A police spokesman refused to confirm whether the bomb was live.

Owner Maria Whitton has praised her husband for being ‘so calm’ in dealing with the discovery.

She said: “Thank god Ed was there. He asked us quietly to leave and then called the police.

“We have never had anything like this before. We have all sorts of stuff in this auction room, but this was the first for us. You never think something like this could happen.”

Mr Whitton said: “I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. I had never seen one in real life.”

The couple were sorting their items for their next auction, being held on Thursday, August 27.

Earlier neighbourhood beat manager Steve Lee said “We are going to keep the scene exactly how it is, no one will be allowed on the site.

“The truck will pick up the bomb and make sure if it’s got any explosives left in it. Because this is a bomb rather than an IED, they have to make sure.

“Families find trophies of war a lot in East Devon. We are not planning to close the road - we just have to make sure everyone is safe.”

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