By Bridie Adams

AN ARMY bomb disposal team descended on a Herefordshire town after an unexpected discovery was made in a skip.

West Mercia Police were called to Ross-on-Wye after Thai Hayward discovered an active World War Two munition in a skip he had hired.

The police were joined by a specialist army unit who safely disposed of the bomb.

Ledbury Reporter: The skip was cordoned off while the bomb squad was called inThe skip was cordoned off while the bomb squad was called in (Image: Thai Hayward)

Mr Hayward, 24, said: “Someone randomly dumped it in my skip. They had moved a load of soil to cover a plastic bag, but I could see the handle. I grabbed it out and the bomb was in there. The bomb squad said it was highly explosive and looked to still be active – but it looked too old to have gone bang.”

At first, Mr Hayward didn’t recognise the unusual object as a bomb.

“I felt a bit stupid after I’d been shaking it about and holding it near my face before I realised what it was. I hadn’t figured out what it was and then the penny dropped. I soon put it down and I rang the police and reported it, having to send them photo evidence. After the lady on the phone saw the photo, she was right on it.”


The bomb disposal team cordoned off a 100-yard area of Oaklands in Ross-on-Wye, and evacuated Mr Hayward and his panicked neighbours.

Mr Hayward called the police at 6.28pm on Tuesday evening (June 6). West Mercia Police arrived after ten minutes, closely followed by the bomb disposal team.

The Ministry of Defence said: “An army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Ashchurch attended Oaklands in Ross-on-Wye. The item was identified as a legacy World War Two munition and was destroyed.”

Ledbury Reporter: The munition, dating from WW2, was found in the skipThe munition, dating from WW2, was found in the skip (Image: Thai Hayward)

The EOD is a specialist British Army unit responsible for explosive device and munition disposal, and the Ashchurch troop is based at St Barbara’s Barracks in Gloucestershire. The regiment typically uses a remote-control vehicle called the Cutlass Wheelbarrow. This technology is believed to have saved hundreds of lives since the army first started using it to dispose of bombs.

West Mercia Police confirmed: “We were called to Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire on Tuesday, June 6, after an unexploded ordnance was discovered in a skip. The EOD attended and disposed of the device. The incident isn’t regarded as suspicious.”