PICTURES: Explosive legacy of Occupation

A bomb being examined and moved by the bomb disposal team and States police on the Sand Dunes at St Ouen's Bay (37310780)

AN unfired high-explosive shell weighing around 250lb was found buried in the sand dunes near the Five Mile Road on 5 January 1976.

The munition was discovered by metal detectorist Terence Fosdyke near La Pulente and was thought to have lain under the sand since the early 1940s.

Officers gently pull the shell out of the ground with a rope (37310777)

After careful examination, Detective Constable Terry McDonald, bomb disposal officer with the States police, decided that it would be too dangerous to explode the shell where it lay and so it was taken by Land Rover onto the beach near Le Braye Slip and then exploded under water the following morning.

Sgt Gordon Newton, with the help of two officers, carries the heavy shell to the Land Rover. On the left is Centenier Doug Isherwood, who was one of those who helped push the vehicle over the dunes (37310783)

The JEP reported on the front page of its edition on 6 January: “Det con McDonald warned the officers with him that the old and rusty shell, if exploded accidentally, would cause damage over a mile and a half radius, with the possibility of metal pieces travelling much further. He gave them the option to drop out at any stage, but none did.

A helping hand for the Land Rover as it makes its way over the sand dunes (37310786)

“The shell was lain gingerly in the back of the Land Rover, two officers walked ahead to find a reasonably smooth route over the dunes, and the remaining officers pulled and pushed the vehicle with its deadly load across the sand.

The shell is dragged down the beach in preparation for its detonation (37310788)

“Safely on the beach, a high-explosive charge was strapped to the shell and it was guarded throughout the night. This morning a section of the Five Mile Road was closed for two hours and the bomb successfully exploded at high tide soon after 9.30am.”

Det Con Terry McDonald lays out the detonator (37310795)

The story went on to say that a report in the previous day’s paper that the shell was a “harmless canister” and that there was a bomb in St Brelade’s Bay was based on information given out by the police who were concerned that the public should not know where the shell had been found until it had been safely destroyed.

The shell is exploded under water (37310775)

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