Grandad’s shock at digging up two bombs in his Doncaster back yard

The mechanical digger operator thought he had just clanged against a piece of metal.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 7:00 am

The scoop had struck it, while working at the back garden of a house on Malton Road, Intake, just round the corner from Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

But when he emptied the scoop, he was in for a shock – he had dug up a hand grenade and a military rocket!

Now, Doncaster grandfather Mohammad Afzal has told of his shock at seeing the munitions that his friend had dug up by mistake while the two of them were working to re-do the drive at the back of the house.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mohammad Afzal shows the spot where a digger dug up a bomb in his garden in Intake, Doncaster

Shocked Mohammad, who rents the house out, was digging foundations for the drive, with his friend helping him by working the digger.

He said: “I left him to it for a few minutes, and when I came back, he said ‘look what I’ve found’.

"He realised he’d dug up a bomb – but didn’t know what to do. I understand the digger had hit the metal, and we dug it out because we didn’t know what it was. It just seemed to be a piece of metal at first, but it was a hand grenade and a rocket! We recognised them as what you seen in films.

"I rang the police and they said don’t touch it. They asked me if there were any numbers on them – I said I don’t know, and I’m not going near it to look!

Army bomb disposal experts in Intake. Police: South Yorkshire Police

"The police came round, and soon said they were going to call the army bomb squad.”

The army arrived at around 11pm, on Friday, and were there for around 40 minutes.

"I’m not sure we were scared,” said Mohammad. “My friend was laughing at first. I think it was surprise and shock more than anything else. You just don’t expect to dig up a bomb in your garden. It wasn’t even very deep, only about 12 inches. I can’t believe no one had dug it up before.”

The house was evacuated while the army worked, but no other people were asked to leave their homes.

"I hope we don’t get any more excitement doing the drive,” added Mohammad.

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a print subscription. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Please subscribe here so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.