Surrey museum evacuated by bomb squad amid WWII live shell fears


A museum in Surrey had to be evacuated by a bomb disposal squad amid fears a donated WWII shell was still live.

The Royal Logistics Corps bomb disposal unit was called to the Chertsey Museum after a curator found reports that suggested a number of their shells had been dropped without detonating, reports ITV News.

A well-intentioned pensioner had donated the shell to the museum, but they later found it had been retrieved from a gravel pit where a number of shells dropped during the Blitz had failed to detonate on impact.


The museum's curator Emma Warren told the Evening Standard: "A member of the public had brought in an old shell to use for the World War II collection and told us it was perfectly safe.

"We had no reason to doubt him but when we did some research into it we found out that it fell in a gravel pit which was bombed on October 19 1940, and a report said there were a number of bombs that didn't detonate in that area.

"I sent a picture of it to one of the local councillor's whose husband works in bomb disposal and at that point we started evacuating the museum."

She added: "We had a couple of other shells that were on display which we don't have any paperwork for so they have taken all three items away, they were fairly certain they were absolutely OK and they will return them to us next week.

"We have been asking for people to bring in their First World War memorabilia but maybe next time we ask members of the public for war related items, we should maybe specify not bombs!"


Captain Rob Marshall, from the bomb disposal unit, told Get Surrey: "It was potentially something that could have been dangerous but it wasn't.

"It's definitely safe but it's always worth getting it check out. The item is being examined now and a safety certificate will be issued. Emma did exactly the right thing.

"People donating items just need to be aware of what they are bringing in, they were very generous but if they are in any doubt they should get the EOD [explosive ordnance disposal] out to get it checked out."

See more pictures of the incident at Chertsey Museum's Facebook page.

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