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A UK couple’s ‘dummy’ bomb garden ornament turns out to be a live bomb

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For more than 40 years, a couple in the United Kingdom kept what they thought was a fake missile as a garden ornament. Last week, a bomb disposal team detonated it.

The shell outside the home of Sian and Jeffrey Edwards in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, was there when they moved in in 1982.

Jeffrey Edwards, 77, told the BBC the armament had been found a century ago by the previous owner of the home. Edwards told the outlet that warships for the Royal Navy used to dock in St Brides Bay and use the beach there for target practice, making sure no one was actually in the area.

He told Sky News that he  believed it was a “dummy” used during navy training exercises before World War I.

“Well Pop Morris, who went around delivering lemonade, was going down to Broad Haven with his horse and cart and found the shell. He struggled back up the beach with it, put it on the back of his cart and had a very bouncy seven-mile ride back home,” Edwards said.

Morris, who previously owned the home then left the missile outside the house, and when the Edwards moved in some decades later, they not only left it there but painted it red to match their window ledges.

“It stood there during two world wars,” Edwards told the BBC.

Sky News reported that officials who looked closely after it was detonated confirmed that it appeared to date back to between 1880 and 1890. They also determined that it had come from a British warship.

More: US, Japan left behind thousands of bombs after WWII. They’re still exploding and killing people in the Pacific.

Bomb removed and detonated

Sky News reported that on Wednesday, police knocked on the Edwards’ door and told the couple their garden ornament would have to be investigated. Not long after, the couple were told that a bomb squad had been called.

“We didn’t sleep a wink that night,” Edwards told Sky News. “We’ve lived in this house for 41 years, have known it all these years, and I told the bomb squad ‘if you evacuate the street the wife and I are not leaving our home – we’re staying here.'”

Edwards said he and his family were prepared for the consequences if it exploded, Sky News reported.

“We’ll go out with our home and everything with it,” he said.

More: Unexpected detonation of World War II-era bomb creates massive explosion; no one injured

Authorities found that the missile was live but had very little charge, making it safe enough to transport away from the residential area. The BBC reported it was taken to a quarry where it was covered with five tons of sand and detonated on Thursday.

The Edwards found it hard to part ways with the what was a decades long fixture in their garden.

“It was an old friend. I’m so sorry that the poor old thing was blown to pieces,” Edwards told the BBC.

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