Walker unearths unexploded hand grenade on Woodbury Common

PUBLISHED: 13:04 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:16 27 March 2019

The rusty L2A1 hand grenade found on Woodbury Common. Picture: Simon Fogg

The rusty L2A1 hand grenade found on Woodbury Common. Picture: Simon Fogg

Archant

An Exmouth military enthuiast hunting for cartridges at Woodbury Common got more than he bargained for when he dug up a live grenade with his walking stick.

The rusty L2A1 hand grenade found on Woodbury Common. Picture: Simon FoggThe rusty L2A1 hand grenade found on Woodbury Common. Picture: Simon Fogg

Historian Simon Fogg found a rusty L2A1 hand grenade partially buried in the dirt on a pathway he was walking on.

Mr Fogg, of Seymour Road, said: “I went over to see the new restoration of the hand grenade range. On the way back, well outside of the flagged ‘danger zone’, I found the grenade on the pathway.”

Mr Fogg prized the grenade out of the dirt after spotting it did not have a fuse attached to it.

After moving it to a safe spot so it would not attract the attention of nearby dog walkers, he covered it up with grass and called police.

The rusty L2A1 hand grenade found on Woodbury Common. Picture: Simon FoggThe rusty L2A1 hand grenade found on Woodbury Common. Picture: Simon Fogg

Mr Fogg believes the grenade may have been dropped in situe to the restored range.

The keen military collector said the grenade was the first one he had ever found.

He added: “A policeman arrived 15 minutes after I called 101.

“The L2 grenade was officially entered into service in 1972, replacing the WW2 era Mills No.36.

“I’m 95 per cent certain that this was a live one, as the outer casing had deteriorated to a state where I could see the inner fragmentation coil - a part of the body section that fragments into hundreds of tiny pieces when the grenade is detonated.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We were called around 1.45pm as a member of the public claimed they had located an unexploded grenade on Woodbury Common.

“This matter was referred to Explosive Ordnance Disposal, who collected and disposed of the item later that afternoon.”

Mr Fogg said if anyone else was to find explosive ordinance on the common, his advice would be not to touch it and call the police immediately.

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