Army experts safely destroy WWII Bermondsey bomb

March 25th, 2015

Army experts safely explode the bomb at a quarry in Kent. Credit: Ministry of Defence

SAT Lester, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Royal Logistic Corps, said: “This bomb was a live munition in a dangerous condition. It had been disturbed by some pretty heavy building machinery, which is never a good thing. Bombs don’t like being bashed around.

“But once we’d uncovered it, we knew what we were dealing with and it was just a question of solving the puzzle quickly so we could get it away and the good residents of Bermondsey back in their homes.

“We knew we had to get it away to dispose of it safely because trying to deal onsite with a bomb that size, even under a controlled explosion, would cause significant damage to buildings, (and) property, and the risk of major loss of life in such a highly populated part of the city was very high.”

Buildings around The Grange were evacuated as British Army bomb disposal experts and engineers built a protective “igloo” around the 5ft (1.5m) device to protect the surrounding buildings in case of accidental detonation.


Bomb disposal teams from Shorncliffe Troop 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Royal Logistic Corps and Sappers from 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal were involved in excavating the device (MoD)

The igloo was created from Hesco blast walls, like those used to build Camp Bastion and other military bases in Afghanistan during the conflict there.

The bomb was excavated last night by teams who had previously worked on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. It was then transported to a site in Kent owned by Brett Aggregates for the detonation, allowing people in Bermondsey to return to their homes last night.

On Wednesday night, Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, tweeted: “Thank u 2 members of the Armed Forces & all involved in moving the ¬£UXB 2 Kent today & grateful 2 local ¬£Bermondsey residents 4 patience.”


World War Two

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