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World War II Grenades found in Kirkby

Photograph of an Albright and Wilson Self-Igniting Phosphorous grenade

In 2009, workmen discovered twenty Second World War grenades in Ruffwood Drive, Kirkby, while digging foundations. Police carried out controlled explosions on the grenades.

The AW Bombs (manufactured by Albright and Wilson) were too unstable to move, and were originally designed to explode on impact.

Later in the week, another two A.W. grenades were found in the grounds of the same school.

Grenade manufacturing in Kirkby

Liverpool’s historic landscape influenced even this bit of history. The grenades were probably made at the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) in Kirkby, on the site which later became the Kirkby Industrial Estate.

A similar factory was sited in Speke, as well as other locations around the country.

In the 1930s and 40s the outskirts of Liverpool were popular for this kind of development. The flat landscape provided room for expansion, and the population was increasing rapidly. Following slum clearances in the city centre, men and women had moved to the outskirts. They formed the workforce needed by the factories.

The government of the time judged these areas to be relatively ‘safe’. A huge area of the country , from Bristol to Linlithgow in Scotland, was a fitting place for these factories.

The areas were a good distance from centres of population, but had good road and rail links. Because of this it was easy to take the finished products to where they were needed.

Image: Grenade, Hand or Projector, Drill, No 76 (S.I.P.) (& AW Bomb) (MUN 3306) The ‘live’ version of this grenade, known as the ‘Grenade, Hand or Projector, No. 76, S.I.P. Mk I’, consisted of a short-necked half-pint capacity glass bottle filled with an incendiary mixture and closed with a crown cap. The filling itself was made of yellow phosphorous (128cc), water (21cc), benzine (110cc) and a 3.5in piece of crude rubber, which partially dissolved during storage to give the … Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30021485

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