A BOMB disposal unit has detonated a German bomb on Worthing beach.
The incendiary device was found in an unoccupied house in Orchard Avenue, Tarring, yesterday, however, the police were not informed until today.
The Royal Navy Fleet Diving Squadron bomb disposal unit was contacted and travelled from Portsmouth to retrieve the bomb, which was cylindrical with fins, before transporting it to the beach for safe disposal.
Peter Penfold, 74, of Bluebell Drive, Littlehampton, was clearing out his uncle’s house when he discovered the bomb in the lounge.
He said: “I thought it was a replica, but when these guys said it was a real one I said ‘oh no’. I thought it must be a dummy stuck on a shelf like that. It was all covered in dust. It’s like a rolling pin with a fin on the end.”
Mr Penfold left it in the hallway overnight and it was not until Robert Snow, 48, of Toronto Close, Durrington, saw the bomb this morning that the police were contacted.
Mr Snow, who studied military history at Royal Holloway University and was helping with the clear out, recognised the German insignia on the device.
Speaking from Orchard Avenue, Chris O’Flaherty, commanding officer Fleet Diving Squadron, said: “It’s in immaculate condition. They moved it into the back garden which isn’t something we would usually recommend, to put it bluntly. We do get quite a few of these. You have got to treat them with extreme caution.”
Crowds of people lined the promenade to watch the device explode. There were cheers and applause following the emergence of a plume of smoke and a loud bang.