‘I couldn’t resist it’: Father polishes bomb before calling police

Tom Waters, from Beccles was doing work in his back garden when he found the First World War shell.

Tom Waters, from Beccles was doing work in his back garden when he found the First World War shell. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

A father was polishing a First World War shell he found in his back yard - just moments before police rushed to seize the historic bomb.

He said "he wasn't worried" about the bomb lodged in the soil. Picture: Contributed

He said "he wasn't worried" about the bomb lodged in the soil. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Tom Waters was doing work in his back garden when he noticed the dirt-covered shell lodged in the soil last Friday (April 26).

The 32-year-old said: 'It was nose down, it looked like it had been planted there if I am honest.

'I wasn't that worried, I do magnet fishing so I have found these things before,' Mr Waters said.

'I know I shouldn't have - but I couldn't resist it, I had to clean it. Once I was satisfied I called the police,' he said.

It was approximately 90mm in diameter, and 30cm tall. Picture: Contributed

It was approximately 90mm in diameter, and 30cm tall. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant


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He said when the police arrived, 'they weren't surprised' and said another shell has been found 10 years prior on the same street.

After researching the shell online, Mr Waters discovered it was an 18 pound artillery shell was from the First World War and was fired from a gun.

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On Friday, the bomb disposal squad were called out to the property on Frederick's Road in Beccles.

A spokesperson from Suffolk Constabulary said: 'The shell was discovered in the garden of an address in Frederick's Road, Beccles and is described as being approximately 90mm in diameter, and 30cm tall.'

It was taken to private land in Barsham in a controlled explosion. Picture: Contributed

It was taken to private land in Barsham in a controlled explosion. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

An explosion took place on private land in Barsham, near Beccles at around 3pm that day.

Mr Waters said: 'The police man came around yesterday, he said he was going to film the explosion for me but couldn't because it was behind a hill.

'They asked him to move his car, and he said he was glad he did because when it exploded it hit the side of the police van - it was a big explosion,' he said.

If it was declared unsafe to transport the shell, the bomb disposal squad would be forced to detonate it in Mr Waters' garden.

Mr Waters found the shell "nose down" in his garden on Friday (April 26). Picture: Contributed

Mr Waters found the shell "nose down" in his garden on Friday (April 26). Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

They said they would have had to use 80 sand bags and his back windows still would have been blown in.

'Thank god for that - I don't think my landlord would have been very happy,' he said.

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