Iron Harvest battlefields of WWl

Use this topic as a catch-all for other discussions, including but not limited to, misc. British military equipment, reenacting, military history, and general discussion.

Moderators: The Double D, Viclav, Johnny Yuma, GrantR Canada, Carignan Salieres

Iron Harvest battlefields of WWl

vincent998
Veteran of the Regiment
vincent998
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: June 8th, 2007, 4:21 pm

June 13th, 2018, 6:29 pm #1

Was shown multiple examples on multiple farms on a private tour around Ypres. In particular we stopped at one farm where upon opening the multiple car garage doors we saw hundreds of shells and hand-grenades that was one farmers collection.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/bri ... rging.html
Quote
Like
Share

BobB
Colour Sergeant
BobB
Colour Sergeant
Joined: October 30th, 2017, 3:41 pm

June 13th, 2018, 7:57 pm #2

As a Battlefield Guide, I've had quite a few dealings with this sort of thing.

A few years ago, a rider on the Help for Heroes Battlefield Bike Ride (on which I was a guide) tried bring back a live Mills bomb. That caused some consternation when discovered by Customs.

The best, though, was on a tour to the Western Desert that I was co-guiding many years ago. It was a "Heroes Return" tour, so they were all WW2 veterans. I'd left the group for the morning to do some private research and when my driver and I returned to Bir Hacheim, the group was eating lunch in the ruins. Apart, that is, from one old gentleman who was out in the minefield.
I asked the main guide, who said he wouldn't take any notice of his advice. I approached the gentleman who said, "Don't worry, my boy, I was a Royal Engineer and dealt with these things all the time." He then promptly picked up a mine and dismantled it in three swift movements. "There you are," he said, "safe as houses now..."  !

Bob.
Quote
Like
Share

PommyB
Veteran of the Regiment
PommyB
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: September 3rd, 2009, 9:41 pm

June 13th, 2018, 8:20 pm #3

"Don't worry, my boy, I was a Royal Engineer and dealt with these things all the time." He then promptly picked up a mine and dismantled it in three swift movements. "There you are," he said, "safe as houses now..."  !

I can just imagine my Grandad Reeves doing, & saying, something like that!  He was an RSM in the Royal Engineers stationed in Malta before, during, & after the Siege & was kept busy with bomb disposal. He finished off the war in North Africa.
"For a man, be he ever so much resolved to do his duty as a parent, can't be flogging his children all day....."

The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. (William Thackeray).
Quote
Like
Share

vincent998
Veteran of the Regiment
vincent998
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: June 8th, 2007, 4:21 pm

June 13th, 2018, 8:25 pm #4

Our guide in Ypres who knew the farmer with the multiple car garage full of live WWl munitions handed both my wife and a former student of mine who was traveling with us a rusty live Mills bomb/grenade they quickly handed them back. I would highly recommend a film dealing with unexploaded ordnance https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/land_of_mine/
Quote
Like
Share

BobB
Colour Sergeant
BobB
Colour Sergeant
Joined: October 30th, 2017, 3:41 pm

June 13th, 2018, 8:38 pm #5

PommyB wrote: "Don't worry, my boy, I was a Royal Engineer and dealt with these things all the time." He then promptly picked up a mine and dismantled it in three swift movements. "There you are," he said, "safe as houses now..."  !

I can just imagine my Grandad Reeves doing, & saying, something like that!  He was an RSM in the Royal Engineers stationed in Malta before, during, & after the Siege & was kept busy with bomb disposal. He finished off the war in North Africa.
Indeed... I'm not sure they make 'em like that any more. Amazing men.
Like my father who I only found out had three tanks blown up under him in North Africa when I attended a regimental reunion after his death. My (post war) Bosnia experience with the UN was a tea party in comparison.
Quote
Like
Share

Pukka Bundook
Veteran of the Regiment
Pukka Bundook
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: March 3rd, 2004, 3:19 pm

June 17th, 2018, 12:36 pm #6

A very good thread and anecdotes, all!

I recall when Martin Middlebrook wrote his book, "Somme", they were still pulling out about ten tons of live ammo a year on the farms.
Quote
Like
Share