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Workers get surprise of thier lives

PUBLISHED: 05:54 31 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

WORKERS building a new house got the surprise of their lives when a war-time hand grenade suddenly rolled out of the earth embankment they were digging.

WORKERS building a new house got the surprise of their lives when a war-time hand grenade suddenly rolled out of the earth embankment they were digging.

Police were called to seal off the area – and Army bomb disposal experts were called in to deal with the weapon.

The incident happened yesterday at Park Lane, Kirton, near Felixstowe, where work is taking place to build a new property.

The British Mills grenade had been buried in the ground for nearly 60 years when it unexpectedly came to light.

The contractors cleared the area for safety and called the emergency services.

Kirton history recorder Len Lanigan, who lives nearby, said it was not the first piece of ammunition to be discovered in the village over the years.

Kirton had played quite an active part in the second world war for training exercises, and Kirton Creek had been the site of a night-time "decoy town" to deflect enemy planes away from Ipswich.

Soldiers had been trained to simulate lights from doors opening and chinks in curtains, and had also set oil in water tanks alight to create dense smoke to fool airmen into thinking their colleagues had already bombed the "town".

"I have been told that the field behind my house was known as Searchlight Field and the Germans would come over and drop incendiary bombs," said Mr Lanigan.

"The next morning the kids would go along and help the soldiers pick up the unexploded ones – sneaking a few home to use as fireworks!

"When we bought our house, I found on a shelf in the garage – which at one time had been two one-room cottages – a cannister with a fin which came apart in my hand.

"It was an incendiary and we had to have the bomb disposal team come and deal with it."

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