The Rocket from Space

Exploring in the woods

Whilst out with my Dad (who was rather deaf) we were exploring north of Mill Road roundabout in the woods to the left of the railway line, having crossed the little bridge. I was around seven or eight years old at the time, and Dad strode ahead, me following on, taking in my surroundings. My eyes were drawn to some alloy fins sticking out of the ground covered by heavy moss. I called out to Dad, but he did not hear me. So not wishing to lose what I thought might be ‘The Rocket from Space’ I grasped it firmly and yanked it from its resting place.

Dad turned a light grey

Running after Dad I soon caught up and proudly produced my find. The result was alarming, as my Father’s usual ruddy complexion turned a light grey as he sank to the ground, perspiring heavily and clutching my prize. Then he put it on the ground beside him and said nothing for what seemed ages. I suppose he was trying to compose himself after the shock.

A WWII mortar bomb

Eventually he got himself together and explained that I had found a WW2 mortar bomb. After a while he threw it with all his might some distance into the trees. Incidentally my Dad was an ex-Royal Engineer. There was no bang and thankfully nothing happened. Maybe the bomb is still there in a somewhat decayed state. After that experience I never touched another one. But I did call out the police when I found another ‘Rocket from Space’ whilst black-berrying near the Beacon in the mid 1970s with my young sons.

Comments about this page

  • On reading Alan Spicer’s comments about a mortar bomb brought back memories from my school days at Fitzherbert school in Woodingdean. On the south side of the school playing field was lots of greyish black soot from the power station in Portslade. Lots of us kids played in this lovely stuff. One day I also found a mortar bomb in the area and like kids do started throwing it around. This lasted for a while until Mr. Crowley came across the field and evacuated us to the playground. Luckily for me and us it was a practice dummy or I might not have had the chance to write this. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (22/07/2011)

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