AN UNEXPLODED grenade was discovered at a caravan park – with its pin threaded through the root of a tree.
Reg Husband was stunned when he found the Second World War British grenade tangled in the roots of a tree at The Hollies caravan site, near Itchenor Road, Hayling Island.
The 65-year-old was worried it might explode as it was just two feet away from the bedroom window of a young family holidaying in a caravan.
So he delicately lifted it up and moved it away from the caravan.
Mr Husband, who was working at the caravan site, said: ‘It was in a very rusty and corroded state, and it was suspended by the pin among the roots.
‘I think it must have been under the surface, and then it had been gradually lifted up out of the soil as the tree grew.
‘I decided to move it – although I was later told I shouldn’t have touched it.
‘I moved it about 20 yards to a safer place behind a massive tree stump.’
Mr Husband is one of the directors of St Herman’s Estate Co Ltd, which owns several caravan sites on the island.
He went to get help from ex-serviceman Terry Worrall, who lives nearby.
Mr Worrall, 56, said: ‘It was a Number 36 Mark 1 Mills Hand grenade. I told him he was an idiot for moving it, but he did it for the right reasons at the time. He was quite shaken afterwards.’
The Royal Navy’s bomb disposal team were called out to deal with the grenade.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: ‘They deemed that it was in a safe state to be moved.
‘They then took it to Gosport, where they carried out a controlled explosion in a safe location.’
Mr Worrall said the grenade may have been related to the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties, a group of special forces who were trained on Hayling.
He added: ‘I was surprised because the site has been quite well developed. All this coastline was used by Copps and that’s the only thing I can think it has come from.’