Don't kid yourself: mines, shells, bombs, November 1947

'Mines, shells, bombs, flung from dump: work of hooligans.' From the Star.

L'Ancresse passers-by endangered. By 'Star' reporter.

More than a dozen men who have come to Guernsey to clear up the ammunition dump at L'Ancresse spent the greater part of yesterday searching for live ammunition which gangs of youths had scattered over L'Ancresse Common during the week-end.

When the bomb disposal squad—officers and men of the Seaforth Highlanders—arrived yesterday they discovered that many pieces of live ammunition had been tampered with and strewn about the Common outside the zone marked off as being dangerous.

Yesterday afternoon only two mines were detonated, instead of the usual half-dozen, because the men were employed in gathering ammunition instead of laying the mine cables, etc.

Found in grass

A three-inch mortar bomb was found sticking in the grass outside the danger area, and 0.88 H E shells (aircraft) and anti-personnel mines were among other objects that had been tampered with.

The youths had also handled mines which not even the men themselves are allowed to handle without having a corporal in attendance, and had thrown small calibre shells and sticky bombs at each other. Those shells were 'live' and likely to explode. The 'sticky bombs' could have severely burnt a person, as they stick to the skin.

'If one of the mines had gone off it would have blown the whole gang to pieces,' I was told. Some of the youths were seen by a watchman, who drove them away.

Grave risk

'They were silly hooligans,' I was told.

'They were not only running a grave risk of losing their own lives, but endangering the lives of other people.'

On one of the warning notices, between the DANGER—MINE, someone had chalked 'Don't kid yourself.'

The matter was reported to Capt. M H T Mellish, ADC to the Lieutenant-Governor, and to the police. A special watch will be kept next week-end and action will be taken against anyone interfering with the dump.