Family discovers suspected World War One bomb in Plaistow
PUBLISHED: 10:43 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:49 19 January 2016
A family sifting through their dad's belongings weeks after his death were expecting to find old memorabilia.
But their discovery of a suspected World War One bomb in his old garden shed in Plaistow was not quite what they had in mind.
Steve Marsh was with sisters Tina and Donna in their dad’s old Grange Road home when they found the shell under some rotting tarpaulin shortly after 4pm last Wednesday afternoon.
A fireman from Canvey Island, Steve had dealt with bomb shells before so was able to recognise the casing. He calmly told his sisters and nephew, also helping with the clear-out, to stand back while he alerted the police.
On arrival, officers confirmed the rusting object found protruding from the floor of the shed was an exploded shell from World War One or Two.
“Our dad only died two weeks ago – we were trying to make room in the house before the funeral,” said Donna, 43, who also lives in Grange Road. In the house which had once belonged to their mum’s parents the siblings also discovered letters from their great-great-grandfather who had served in the Great War.
“We were in the house when Steve shouted: ‘There’s a bomb in that shed, stay away’ – it was a big shock,” added Donna.
Steve alerted the police, who evacuated residents living near the homes and cordoned off nearby roads for up to two hours.
Next-door neighbour Lilly Nyanamany, 55, had turned off her doorbell while looking after her sleeping grandchild Chloe – so was completely unaware of the drama around her.
“My son-in-law called me but wasn’t allowed to collect us because of the police tape.
“This has never happened before, I was so scared,” added Lilly, who was able to pick up the three-year-old and walk to safety.
A spokesman for Metropolitan Police said it was “probably” a World War Two shell from antiaircraft guns. He added: “It was found to have been already fired and will be disposed of.”
Have you ever uncovered something unexpected while looking through old belongings? Get in touch by emailing email@example.com or tweeting us at @newhamrecorder