The job of clearing Britain’s cities and towns of unexploded devices after the war has taken many years. Indeed even today we see still hear of exploded bombs more than 70 years on. There have been many, dangerous, weird and wonderful stories of the discovery of such devices –but this one from the 14th July 1948 has to be the strangest.
Mr. Maurice Barnett, former RAF bomb disposal officer, was yesterday back at his wartime job –but this time in an open space at the back of his salmon-curing firm in Frying Pan Alley, Bishopsgate.
Among the salmon sent from Billingsgate for curing yesterday was a 23 lb fish, in which were found to cannon shells.
“The men were in the yard trying to split the fish, but could hardly get the knife into it,” said Mr. Barnett. “They were mystified until they got it open and found two 35 mm shells of British origin inside.
“I examined them and found that one had been exploded and the other was an unfired incendiary.
“I decided it would be safer for me to explode the shell before I gave it to the police, so I took it to an open space and fired it.
“The job only only took a few minutes and didn’t make much of a bang.”