Phosphorus Grenades Found at Old Home Guard Site

sip-300x229Workers at a building site in Herne Bay, Kent uncovered a cache of Self-Igniting Phosphorus (SIP) grenades on Sunday, prompting the attendance of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Shorncliffe Barracks in Folkestone.

SIP grenades were a rudimentary WWII weapon used by the Home Guard and typically comprised a simple glass bottle filled with a mixture of white phosphorus, benzene, water and crude rubber. Designed as an anti-tank device in case of an enemy invasion, the idea was for the hand-thrown bottle to ignite the engine compartments of oncoming armoured vehicles.

The Home Guard are notorious for their questionable disposal practices and SIP grenades are a common find in the UK. Back in March, a cache of eighty grenades was found at building site in Eastbourne, two of which exploded on being exposed, sending up a sheet of flame in the process. Even after seventy years, these improvised munitions are potentially volatile.

The site in Herne Bay was the location of a former farm, thought to have been requisitioned by the Home Guard during the war. Whilst their movements are quite difficult to track after more than half-a-century, any area known to have been used by the Home Guard should be approached with caution.

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