Man’s fear when his shovel hits WW2 grenade

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A Scarborough man has told of the adrenaline-pumping moment when his spade hit a World War Two hand grenade when he was landscaping his back garden.

A bomb disposal team arrived at John Ramos’s home, in St John’s Road, at around 10pm on Monday after he discovered the “pineapple shaped hand grenade” which had been buried under his shed for decades.

While landscaping the garden, John had dismantled his shed, which he put up 13 years ago, and was digging beneath it when his spade hit metal.

He said: “I was digging up the groundwork when my spade hit something metal. When I saw it it was like ‘oops, that’s a grenade’. It was instantly recognisable as a grenade so I immediately phoned the police.”

The father-of-two feared at the very least if it went off it could damage a supporting wall and bring down his family home.

The police arrived with a sergeant who had been in the army and confirmed it was a grenade and began liaising with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at Catterick Garrison.

Police said it had the potential to be a 200 metre explosion zone if the bomb went off, added John.

“You don’t realise how big that is. We live off Falsgrave, we are right in the centre, a 200 metre radius is a massive amount.

“Everyone was saying ‘you can come to ours’ or to head to our local pub but I was saying to them if it does go off you’re in the explosion radius.”

The team from Catterick Garrison arrived and collected the grenade which was later determined to be “dead” and is likely to have degenerated over time.

John, 49, has lived there for 22 years with his wife Dawn and believes the previous owner had it since it was built in the early 1900s.

“As to how it got there we have no idea. One theory is there used to be a coal bunker there and it could have been carried in then or someone has brought it back as a souvenir.

“The police and bomb disposal team were fantastic, they couldn’t have done any more.”