world war one grenade found in Shavington garden

A Shavington man who found a “high explosive” hand grenade in his garden sparked drama as the Army Bomb Squad had to be called out to cordon off the area.

David Birchall was digging in his back garden off Gresty Green Road when his fork clanked against something metal.

And when he lifted it out of the earth, he was left holding a World War One grenade containing high explosives!

David, who lives with his wife Julie, said: “I just saw some wire while I was digging, got my metal detector out which I hardly use and it was telling me there was something down there.

“So I dug down and felt something against the fork. I thought it must be a rock or something. When I grabbed hold of it and pulled it out, I thought ‘shine a light, it’s a grenade!

“I looked it up on the internet and it was a 1915 Mills Grenade.”

David calmly washed it off and left it in the well in his back garden before calling Cheshire Police, but because he could not get through he left it to the following day.

And within a few minutes of speaking to a police call handler, a police car and bomb disposal vehicles arrived outside his house.

“They cordoned off the area and would not let us back in the house,” added David.

“They said they would have to blow it up because it was a live grenade with high explosives inside it.

“So I suggested the field next to our garden which is owned by Mornflake.

“But they had to get sandbags as well because they said a nearby glass conservatory could have shattered!

“They were here for about two and half hours in total, and when they found the sandbags and placed these on top of the grenade, they detonated it. There was a loud bang and that was it!”

hand grenade in garden - bomb squad in Shavington

Bomb squad in action on Gresty Green Road, Shavington

It’s believed nearby under the railway line there was a bunker built there during World War One which may have been used to store armaments they may need if Germans invaded.

“I think there were many hand grenades stored which were full of high explosives but they needed a detonator fixed on to the side of them before they could be used,” added David.

“But apparently the explosives do become more volatile over time due to the chemical changes – that was the fear and why the bomb squad had to blow it up!”


  1. D Morgan says:

    Seems we are now brainwashed into not dialing 999 anymore, that is unbelievably stupid, even washed it off!

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