Second World War munitions haul fished from River Leam - The Leamington Observer

Second World War munitions haul fished from River Leam

Leamington Editorial 7th Nov, 2023   0

BOMB disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion after a Second World War shell was pulled from the River Leam.

Magnet fishers from the group Peaky Dippers were trawling the river at the Mill Road suspension bridge on Sunday afternoon when they discovered a haul of munitions and weapons, including an 18-pound artillery shell.

The cache also included guns, grenades and bullets in what is thought to be the largest ever weapons find by magnet fishers, who are more used to finding old bikes and shopping trolleys while trawling rivers and canals for metal.

A police cordon and road closures were quickly put in place in Willes Road, between Mill Road and Newbold Terrace, and Mill Gardens.




They remained in place until 7pm while experts from the British Army worked to make the area safe.

The British shell was taken to Warwickshire Police’s Leek Wootton headquarters where it was blown up.


How the 80 year-old ordnance found its way into the Leam is not certain, but it could have been dumped in the river at the end of the war by the Home Guard.

A police spokesperson said: “With the help of experts from 11 EOD & Search Regiment (Royal Logistic Corps) the shell was transported to our HQ and they carried out a controlled explosion.

“The 18-pounder was a heavy hitter in its day, and this 80-year-old shell was clearly very well made – still having the power to produce one almighty boom and shake the ground after decades under water.”

The spokesperson added it had made “a right old mess” of the force’s sports field, adding “the Warwickshire Police goalkeeper won’t be happy – it was blown up in the six yard box of the pitch.”

 

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