Homes evacuated after 10-year-old finds second world war bomb

PUBLISHED: 10:57 16 December 2010

Meet the bomb squad: Ben, aged 7, Frankie, aged 8, Alfie, aged 10 and Ollie, aged 9

Meet the bomb squad: Ben, aged 7, Frankie, aged 8, Alfie, aged 10 and Ollie, aged 9

Archant

HOUSES had to be evacuated when four youngsters, who were playing hide and seek, unearthed a foot-long second world war bomb.

Alfie Fisk, aged 10, was playing with his brother Frankie, 8 and friends Ollie Jenner, 9, and Ben Jenner, 7, when they came across the metallic device at 4pm on Sunday.

Not realising what it was they took it into the Jenner’s nearby home just yards away on Mildmay Close in Flitch Green and played with it on the dining room table.

It was OVER AN HOUR until older brother Tom notified officers from the police and the MOD who were forced to evacuate nearby homes.

Tom told the Broadcast: “We were fiddling with it, kicking it, and throwing it around, but after looking at pictures of bombs on Google we realised it looked exactly the same and thought we had better tell someone.

“When the bomb squad arrived and told everyone to leave we couldn’t believe it. We really hadn’t expected it to be that dangerous. We didn’t really know if it was a bomb or not.”

Police were called in just before 6.30pm and a large number of neighbouring properties were evacuated for around six hours as a precaution, until the bomb had been indentified as a practice device.

Dunmow Inspector Mick Couldridge said: “I’d like to thank local people for their cooperation and patience. The evacuation was a necessary safety precaution, and we’re delighted that the shell was ultimately identified as a practice one, and there was no danger to residents.”

The MOD told the finders on Tuesday that the device came from Andrewsfield Airfield near to Stebbing and had probably been dropped by accident by a US or British bomber.

It had been lodged under a fence down an alley and had only revealed itself after water had washed away dirt sitting on top of it.

Alfie was the first to spot the device and, helped by his friends, dug it out. “We were just digging in the dirt whilst playing hide and seek,” he said. “I can’t believe it was a bomb I wonder if there are any more around.

“We have never found anything like it before, it was so exciting.”

WHAT do you think? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk.

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