Newmarket's Gemma White finds WW2 grenade hidden in grandad’s garage
A Newmarket woman found more than she bargained for on Sunday when she went into her late grandfather’s garage in search of a drill.
Gemma White pulled open a drawer and could not believe her eyes when she saw, amid the accumulated nails, screws, old electrical fittings and tools, a world war two hand grenade.
“I was just rootling around looking for a drill to use for some DIY and there it was,” said Gemma, whose grandfather, businessman John Moon died, aged 89, last year.
Once she had got over the initial shock and had told her grandma what she had found, Gemma, 29, took pictures of it and sent them to a friend who had been in the army.
“He said it was a ‘pineapple’ British hand grenade and was very dangerous. He told me not to handle it at all but to leave it where it was.
“It was quite late by this time so my grandma and I decided to wait until early on Monday morning and then call the police,” said Gemma.
Three officers from Cambridgeshire Police came as soon as Gemma reported her find and cordoned off Selwyn Close, on Newmarket’s Ditton Lodge estate. “They told us and the neighbours to go to the back of our homes while they called the bomb squad.
“We sat around feeling very nervous until the two soldiers arrived in a lorry and went into the garage where they made the grenade safe and took it away,” said Gemma.We were just so relieved.”
Gemma said her grandma, Eleanor Moon, thought her husband might have found the grenade somewhere in the town during the war when he was a schoolboy living in his family’s home just behind where today’s Majestic Wine store stands at the Clock Tower roundabout.
The chest of drawers had been moved a number of times since then. Mr and Mrs Moon lived in Ashley Road for a while and then in Fordham Road for many years before retiring to Selwyn Close about 17 years ago.
“The grenade has probably been in the drawer all that time and has moved around with them,” said beautician Gemma, who lives with her partner Dave Mulholland in Paget Place. “It all made for an unexpectedly busy Bank Holiday but, on the plus side, I did find the drill and get my DIY job done.”
The Mk 2 grenade, dubbed a ‘pineapple’ grenade because of its shape, was widely used by allied troops during WW2 as an anti-personnel device.