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Unexploded Bomb!

An unexploded artillery shell from the first world war was found in Southwater and handed in to the Southwater Community Police Office. Children had been found playing with the device in a field nearby before a local resident took it into the Police Office. The bomb squad then attended to carry out a controlled explosion and the blast indicated that the device had been live.

It was identified as a 40mm high explosive artillery shell from 1914 but it could not be confirmed if the shell had been fired, had failed to detonate or had simply been discarded.

Community Office Volunteer, Jane Curtis, was awarded Divisional Congratulations by the Sussex Police in recognition of her calm and decisive action when the shell was brought into the Community Police Office in Southwater. With the risks to public safety uppermost in her mind, she alerted local business units of the danger and called for the relevant specialist assistance. Despite the risks involved, she remained on the scene until help arrived.

Horsham Police later stressed that if local residents should find anything unusual of this nature, they should not touch or move it but call the police immediately, who will take the appropriate action. He added that on this occasion there were some very lucky children out there.

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