A Couple’s Garden Ornament Turned Out to Be a Live 64-Pound Navy Shell
  • A bomb found in the front garden of a house in the UK preceded both World Wars.
  • The couple said the detonation of the shell was “like the passing of an old friend.”
  • The 64-pound naval projectile had been used as a garden ornament for decades.

A garden ornament turned out to be a live bomb for a UK couple who had it in pride of place in their garden for decades, the BBC reports.

Sian and Jeffrey Edwards, who live in Milford Haven in Wales, were shocked when a police officer informed them that the old shell, which they had kept in their garden, was a live explosive device from the late 19th century.

Believing it to be a harmless “dummy” bomb without a charge, the couple used it as a garden decoration, even tapping it with a trowel to remove soil after gardening.

However, their perception of the ornament dramatically changed when a police officer who spotted the bomb alerted the Ministry of Defence. The bomb disposal team arrived promptly the next day.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the incident, “The EOD team assessed the item and determined it to be a 64-pound naval projectile, which was removed from the scene for subsequent explosive demolition.”

The Ministry of Defence later revealed that “naval projectile” was alive, with minimal charge. Faced with the potential need to evacuate the entire street, the couple spent a sleepless night awaiting the bomb squad’s assessment.

“We didn’t sleep a wink all night.” Jeffrey Edwards told the BBC.

Despite the uncertainty, the couple decided to stay in their home, and the bomb disposal transported it to a disused quarry, where it was safely detonated after being covered with five tons of sand.

For 77-year-old Jeffrey Edwards, who had lived in the street since childhood, saying goodbye to the bomb was akin to parting with an “old friend.” He recounted the shell’s history, shared with him by the Morris family, whose relative discovered it over a century ago.

According to Edwards, warships for the Royal Navy used to engage in target practice in a nearby bay. During one of his trips, Pop Morris, a local deliveryman, stumbled upon the shell and transported it back home in his horse-drawn cart. The Edwards subsequently bought the house.

The bomb, later embedded in concrete and painted red to match the window ledges, had stood in the Edwards’ courtyard since they purchased the house in 1982.