Family's lucky escape as LIVE incendiary bomb from Second World War discovered on farm

A mum-of-two has spoken of the moment she discovered a live Second World War bomb while cleaning out a building at her family’s farm.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 2:52 pm

Lawley Ward was clearing one of the buildings at her parents’ farm in West Boldon when she uncovered a German bomb thought to be more than 80 years old.

At first she thought the metal object was a stopcock, but a closer inspection from dad James, 75, uncovered the truth.

The family contacted Northumbria Police, who in turn called in the bomb disposal team from Catterick.

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Images of the device released by Northumbria Police.

After careful examinations and X-rays on Thursday, July 2, the teams made the shocking discovery that the device was still live – and that Lawley and her loved ones had an extremely lucky escape.

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The mum-of-two, who works as a hairdresser, said she had struck the object just moments before with a shovel and a brush without knowing what it was.

It was a tense wait for Lawley and her family as the teams carried out the necessary checks on the German incendiary bomb, which later led to a controlled explosion in one of the farm’s fields.

The wartime device.

She continued: “They said they couldn’t stress enough how lucky we had been because it was active – it was live.”

The family had to rush into action to secure the safety of the farm’s animals, before watching on from a safe distance as the device was dismantled to prevent a fire, and then exploded.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said on Friday, July 3: “Shortly before 2.45pm yesterday we were contacted by a member of the public who had found a suspected unexploded Second World War bomb at a farm in West Boldon.

A controlled explosion was carried out.

“Officers attended along with bomb disposal experts who confirmed the item was an unexploded German incendiary aircraft bomb.

“A controlled explosion was subsequently carried out. Nobody was injured and we would like to thank the member of the public who contacted us about the item.”

Lawley added: “I do feel very lucky – we all could have died. The whole farm could have gone up.

“Some of the officers said they had never seen anything like that. It’s a real piece of history.”

The device in West Boldon.

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Images of the device released by Northumbria Police.
A controlled explosion was carried out in West Boldon.