Second World War grenade found by French restaurant workers peeling potatoes to make chips
Published 05/08/2016 | 13:28
The owner of a hamburger restaurant in western France got a shock as he was peeling potatoes to make chips: when he reached into the bag of spuds he pulled out a hand grenade from the Second World War.
“He was taking out the potatoes, one by one, and then he took one out that seemed a lot heavier than the others,” said Kévin Béatrix, one of the two co-owners of the restaurant, recounting how his colleague came across the rusty unexploded ordnance last month.
“We took a good look at it and quickly realised that it was a grenade and that made us pretty afraid!” he told the Telegraph.
They immediately phoned the gendarmes to tell them they what they had found in their establishment called Frenchie Burgers in the small town of La Flèche.
The gendarmes at first need to be convinced that it was not a hoax. They then told Mr Beatrix to send them a photo of the grenade and to immediately put it under a bucket in the backyard of the restaurant.
The gendarmes transmitted the photo to bomb disposal experts who told them the device, which they said appeared to be a British grenade from the Second World War, was defused and should not present any danger.
It took the bomb disposal experts ten days to turn up and remove the device, which in that time sat under the bucket in the backyard of the restaurant, much to the consternation of Mr Béatrix and his business partner Joffrey Manceau.
They said the sack of potatoes had come from farms in the north of France.
Unexploded wartime ordnance is regularly found in France, particularly in the north, where Allied planes dropped massive amounts of bombs on the positions of occupying German troops.
The area was also the scene of years-long trench warfare in the First World War.