News

There's a grenade in my garden

Mervyn Martin from Rockhampton was clearing down the side of his son's shed in Maryborough when he found a grenade.
Mervyn Martin from Rockhampton was clearing down the side of his son's shed in Maryborough when he found a grenade. Alistair Brightman

A FATHER and son are recovering from a drama-filled night after a routine yard clean-up unearthed a Second World War hand grenade.

Rockhampton's Mervyn Martin was helping clear an overgrown garden at his son's Alice St home on Tuesday when he accidentally picked up the rusted device.

Shaking and wondering "how do I put it down without it going off?", Mr Martin gently placed it on the grass and ran inside to call 000.

An exclusion zone was set up as bomb experts from the Enoggera army base headed for Maryborough.

Mr Martin was dragging out handfuls of grass and dirt from alongside the back shed when he came across something "shaped like a giant turkey egg with grooves running around it and a ring on the end".

At first he was puzzled but as memories of stories told to him by a good friend and former digger came to mind, Mr Martin began to panic.

"I started to shake and grabbed the hand that was holding it with my other hand," Mr Martin said

"I thought, 'I don't want to hold on to it...this looks like the real thing so I put it down and hoped it wouldn't go off.

"When I got as far away as the clothesline, I knew I was safe".

The alarm was raised about 6pm on Tuesday.

One high-ranking officer, who had previously served in the army, confirmed the grenade's authenticity and asked for the Defence Force to be notified.

Police guarded the house, just metres away from the Sunbury State School, until two members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team arrived about 11pm.

After about 45 minutes the grenade, which was found to be without a detonator, was deemed stable and taken back to Brisbane to be destroyed.

Mr Martin said he had heard several stories about wartime grenades being discovered around his home town but never expected to come across one in a normal backyard.

Describing the experience as "a bit of an ordeal I could have done without" - a troublesome week had seen two of his cars call it quits on the highway - Mr Martin said he was headed to check his lotto numbers in the hope the close call was a sign his luck had changed.

A Defence representative confirmed the device was a Second World War-era No 36M hand grenade which was likely used in "practice throwing drills before trainees then progressed to using live grenades".

The representative said while the grenade found in Maryborough was not explosive, any suspicious item "should be considered dangerous" and reported.

More details can be found at http://www.defence.gov.au/uxo/.

A grenade similar to this one was found in Maryborough.
A grenade similar to this one was found in Maryborough. Contributed

Topics:  backyard, garden, grenade, martin, maryborough, rockhampton




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Wobbly Warriors escape Sunbury with the points

PENALTY: United Warriors' Shaun Mitchell is brought down in the penalty box during Saturday night’s Wide Bay League game against : Sunbury Blues at Maryborough Cricket Club.

United Warriors held off a spirited Sunbury comeback.

UK Football Trials are set to begin in Hervey Bay

UK Football Trial's first Australian tour starts today.

Mariners beat Maroochydore to keep SCRU season alive

Christian Mostert playing for Mariners in the game against Maroochydore in Hervey Bay on Saturday. Photo: Jocelyn Watts / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Fraser Coast fought hard to beat Maroochydore 17-10.

Latest deals and offers

WIDE BAY LEAGUE: Cameron Hanrahan talks about United Warriors' win

WIDE BAY LEAGUE: Cameron Hanrahan talks about United Warriors' 4-3 win over Sunbury...

MATCHPLAY MINUTE: U13 Girls state hockey 2

This segment features the Under-13 Girls State Hockey Championships fixture between...

MATCHPLAY MINUTE: U13 Girls state hockey 1

This segment features the Under-13 Girls State Hockey Championships fixture between...

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"