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.

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.

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

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.

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The wartime device.

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

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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.

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A controlled explosion was carried out.

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

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“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.

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“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.
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A controlled explosion was carried out in West Boldon.