Army says Dereham Museum bomb scare explosives were “little, if any, danger”

PUBLISHED: 11:57 26 November 2012

Bishop Bonner's cottage and museum in Dereham

Bishop Bonner's cottage and museum in Dereham

©Archant Photographic 2009

Three home-made explosives that caused a bomb scare when they were discovered filed away in the Dereham Museum archives presented “little, if any, danger” according to information released by the army.

Members of the Royal Logistic Corps from Colchester were called to the site in Sheddick Court, Dereham, on October 16 after a man presented three potentially hazardous items to the police.

At the time the Ministry of Defence refused to discuss the objects, initially believed to date from the first world war, but have now released more details following a Freedom of Information Act request.

The army said they were Home Defence grenades made up of black power, believed to be gun powder, in a clay case lined with paper, with a cloth wick.

The statement said: “The items present little, if any, danger when in storage and would date from approximately WW2. They are an example of the sort of home-made home defence items that were constructed during that period, similar in role to the commonly discovered self igniting phosphorus grenade.

“It is likely that the wick and black powder would have become damp over the intervening period of time and therefore unable to be lit by a naked flame, which is the only method of initiation intended. Finds of this type of grenade are less common as they have not survived after disposal by burial as was instructed at the cessation of hostilities.

“The items were removed to troop storage for later destruction by controlled burning.”

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