Man Pulls Pin from Buried Grenade by Mistake and Lives to Tell

John Hill is a 67 year old grandfather who recently pulled the pin from a buried grenade,yet lived to tell the tale. He was out searching for buried metals with his detector, and he certainly found one. Under the impression that he had unearthed a precious ring made of silver, Hill immediately pulled it from the ground, only to discover that it was attached to an explosive grenade.

Hill had been out with his family at the time, searching the land on his farm with a metal detector in hopes of finding buried goods. When he saw a ring of metal protruding from the ground, he thought he had come across something of antiquity. He soon found that what he had actually discovered was the safety pin of a grenade from WWII. Even more pressing, the grenade happened to still be live.

Prior to pulling the pin, Hill had called over three grandchildren, Sidney (2), Dylan (5), and James (14), to take a gander at his discovery. Luckily, the pin was still at least partially lodged in the grenade, and Hill was able to order the boys to evacuate the immediate area.

Hill dialed the authorities and a bomb squad from the Royal Navy arrived at the scene for a controlled detonation of the weapon. It was actually not Hill’s first experience with the discovery of a WWII explosive, but the self-proclaimed history buff had never in his life activated such an explosive before. The grenade was believed to have been discarded by a returning soldier years prior, who presumably did not know the weapon was still active. Hill thought the event to be spectacular, and his fear was largely caused by the presence of his grandchildren at the discovery, The Telegraph reports.

Hill may have inadvertently saved the lives of more than just his own family, as the live grenade was discovered on farmland and could have easily been run over by a plough tractor. It was not far from the site of another historical discovery, a crashed bomber complete with the ejection seat.

The explosion was said to have been felt from a distance of over one hundred yards, a powerful shockwave for such a small grenade. Certainly, this must have added to Hill’s relief at not completely dislodging the pin, as there is no telling whether or not he and his grandkids would have run fast enough to escape such a powerful charge.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE