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Thread: UK Bomb Disposal contacts

  1. #1
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    UK Bomb Disposal contacts

    Hi,
    I've just been how to get hold of someone to investigate some ammunition (probably .303) found in a English field. Who / how do you contact? MOD? Bomb Squad? 999? (joke)
    Cheers
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  2. #2
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    The Royal Engineers EOD are based at Carver Barracks at Wimbish in Essex - formerly RAF Debden. Not sure how to contact them - I doubt there's a website...

    Any help?

    Adrian
    "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

  3. #3
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    Start with your local police station, they have all the contacts for this sort of thing.

    Years ago I had a summer job as a warden on a nature reserve that had been used for testing ordinance during the war. Bombs and rockets used to turn up on a weekly basis as the wind and tides moved the sand dunes around. We used to have the number for the navy bomb disposal teams pinned on the notice board by the phone!

    Funny they never mentioned this when I went for the interview!!

  4. #4
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    Thanks Adrian, Gareth.

    I wouln't touch bullets or anything larger myself that had been found in a field. Standard .303 is probably a relatively low risk, but there were tracers, de Wilde (explosive?) etc, and I'd hate to lose a paw as 1 in 1,000 accident. Any comment?
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  5. #5
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    Do you really need to call out the bomb squad for .303 ammunition? Seems a little excessive, isn't it?

    I would suggest a phonecall to the local police will do the trick. They'll know who to contact and which channels to set in motion, or at the very least they'll handle it themselves.

    On a similar note - I was discussing this week with Mum and Dad that we'd better call the police about a live (I believe, but am not certain) 20mm cannon shell that was given to me when I was a teenager by an old guy who brought it back from the Pacific. He told me it was live and to be careful with it. Of course they parents instantly confiscated it, and it's been in a cupboard in Dad's workshop, long forgotten, since till I remembered its existence recently. Is it true that it could be really unstable and explode at any point - as was told to me recently?

  6. #6
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    Is it true that it could be really unstable and explode at any point
    Yes. Though not likely.

    I wansn't sugesting we call 'em out - just we wanted some advice, or someone to give it to, or to 'render it safe' and without bothering the nice p'liceman, there didn't seem to be a way to get it!
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  7. #7
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    See here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/lau/lacs/26-1.htm
    AMMUNITION KEPT AS SAMPLES, SOUVENIRS, PATTERNS OR IN MUSEUMS
    INTRODUCTION
    1 The purpose of this circular is to advise enforcement officers of the possible dangers associated with ammunition kept as samples, souvenirs, patterns or in museums.

    BACKGROUND
    2 An incident occurred in an MOD unit in 1990 when a small mortar round of World War 1 origin fired whilst being handled causing serious injuries. Previously the mortar had been thought to be explosively inert as the percussion cap showed an indent where it had apparently been struck correctly by the firing pin at some time in the past.

    3 Examination of similar items from other sources indicated that a contributing factor to the ignition of the propelling charge was the deterioration of the percussion cap casing allowing the chlorate ingredient of the cap to make contact with the sulphur ingredient of the gunpowder propellant. As such mixtures age they tend to become exceedingly sensitive to ignition by friction or impact and may explode with far greater violence than gunpowder alone.

    MOD GUIDANCE
    4 Many otherwise stable explosive mixtures can become sensitive with age or if they make contact with incompatible materials due to deterioration of their immediate containers. Such items may not only become more sensitive to impact but are also liable to spontaneous initiation, especially in the case of old or badly stored propellants. MOD guidance is that all ammunition kept as samples, souvenirs, patterns or in museums should be examined by competent personnel to ensure that all components of the ammunition are free from explosives of all types.

    5 Whenever possible each item of ammunition should be individually referenced and traceable to a “free-from-explosives” register identifying who certified the ammunition as inert and when. If possible it should be made self-evident that the explosives have been removed from inert rounds eg by drilling a hole in cartridge cases once the propellant has been removed. Items should be indelibly marked as having been checked. The markings should be unique to the establishment /museum/ pattern room concerned. Where items are generally available to persons other than the keeper, a record of "free from explosives" certificates should be maintained.

    6 It is recommended that all ammunition is checked again by a competent person immediately prior to disposal. All ammunition sent for disposal should be accompanied by a statement from the consignor that it has been checked and is free from explosives.

    7 It is understood that the above information has been circulated to all relevant personnel within the MOD. Museums, especially small private museums, may not be aware of the dangers detailed above. Annex 1 contains a draft letter which could be used by enforcement officers, if they think it appropriate, to alert museums to this problem.

    8 As stated above, the preferred method of keeping examples of ammunition is to render them free from explosives. However there may be certain institutions who wish to store live ammunition. If so, then the keeper will need to ensure storage complies with the requirements of the Explosives Act 1875 and other explosives legislation. Where explosives are being kept for a long time the keeper needs to be aware that they can degrade with time and become more sensitive, and periodic checking of the stability of explosives and the integrity of any safety devices is advisable. Checking should be undertaken by a competent person (at an explosives factory if any breaking down is undertaken).
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  8. #8
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    I suppose this is English...

    "The Squadron could also deploy up to 2 personnel (one Officer/WO plus one SNCO) to establish the Rear ESA, together with NFU personnel, thereby providing storage for in-theatre stocks of air-delivered munitions and transit storage for weapons en-route from the SPOD to the DOBs."

    Yes, sorry?

    From: http://www.rafmarham.co.uk/organisation/asu/tas.htm
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  9. #9
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    Thanks for that info James.

    I'm worried now. I'd best talk to the police (our local version of Chief Wiggum ) and see what they can do.

    Dave

  10. #10
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    JDK

    Trust me I know from dealing with aforementioned MOD.

    The place to contact is the local police station and from there they will contact the MOD to deal with it or the local police firearms team will come and take it away in a steel ammo box.

    If there is a lot of it the MOD would probably want to investigate why there is so much though.
    Regards Merlin

    www.acia.co.uk

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