'My door stop is a live WWI shell'

World War I shellA weight used to prop open a front door for more than 20 years was a German World War I shell packed with explosives.

The time-delay bomb had been in the family since the end of the war in 1918 – played with by generations of children and even kept on the mantelpiece at one time.

Army bomb disposal experts, who took it to a quarry to detonate it after a tip-off from a concerned neighbour, were amazed it had never exploded.

The drama happened at the home of Thelma Bonnett, 68, in Paignton, Devon. She said: 'I had no idea it was dangerous. Grandfather picked it up on his travels with the Merchant Navy in 1918.

'When I was young, five of us children would play with it. 'I don't think he would have brought it back if he'd known it was live.'

The bomb squad said a firing mechanism had been activated during World War I but the shell failed to go off.

The mechanism had since fallen off but the 'live' explosive could have gone off at any moment.

Link & Image: Metro
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