Woman has a night of police protection after an unexploded bomb is found inside an old apple tree in her garden

PUBLISHED: 11:13 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:13 12 November 2015

The tree stump where the unexploded hand grenade was found in the gardenof Christine Battersby  in Ely

The tree stump where the unexploded hand grenade was found in the gardenof Christine Battersby in Ely

Archant

A woman was given police protection for the night after an unexploded bomb was found inside an old fruit tree in her garden.

Bomb squad at the home of Christine Battersby where a hand grenade was found inside an old apple tree in ElyBomb squad at the home of Christine Battersby where a hand grenade was found inside an old apple tree in Ely

Christine Battersby had called in a specialist to cut down the dead apple tree at her home at Back Hill but as he got down to the trunk he stumbled on a hand grenade and immediately called police.

Mrs Battersby said the tree feller rang and instead of saying the work was finished told her of his surprise discovery.

She said: “He acted very calmly and within seconds the police arrived.

“The tree was very, very old, probably at one time part of the monastic orchard because most of Back Hill was full of fruit trees.

Further image from Back Hill, Ely. PC Williams photographing for EOD purposes prior to sandbaggingFurther image from Back Hill, Ely. PC Williams photographing for EOD purposes prior to sandbagging

“It had been dead for quite a few years which is why I wanted it removed, you wouldn’t have got to the grenade without it being cut.

“The whole thing is intriguing as to how it got there, it had definitely been placed there deliberately,” said Mrs Battersby, whose family has owned the property since 1980.

Glen Conway, of Haddenham, had cut down to the last section of the tree trunk when he found the unexploded bomb inside a hollow at the bottom.

Police cordoned off the area after the grenade was discovered at around 3.35pm on Tuesday (10) and members of the public were advised to avoid the area or stay indoors.

The suspected hand grenade found in Back Hill, Ely this afternoon.The suspected hand grenade found in Back Hill, Ely this afternoon.

Experts from Colchester’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal, EOD, were dispatched and sand bags were placed around the tree for the night before the grenade was taken away to be safely disposed of this morning (Wednesday 11) at about 8am.

Police protection was given for the night as news spread of the grenade discovery in case bounty hunters came to take their chance at removing a piece of war treasure trove.

A police spokesman said: “Many thanks to Jewsons, Ely who provided us with materials to sandbag the device at Back Hill, Ely.”

EOD Regiment is a specialist regiment of the British Army’s Royal Logistic Corps and is responsible for counter terrorist disposal and the safe recovery or disposal of conventional munitions.

The regiment has units based throughout the UK to provide a nationwide fast response to support the police.

They also provide the high threat bomb disposal teams in Afghanistan and ensure the safety of military ammunition and explosives in storage and in use.

The regiment was founded when WW2 ended to oversee the draw-down of vast stockpiles of ammunition in depots across the country.

Much of it was still stocked alongside roads in the countryside.


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