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Excuse me, is that a live grenade?

September 15, 2016 4:24 P.M.
Mills bomb or British hand grenade? (


There was an explosion of concern at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum after someone questioned if the some of the vintage war ordnance on display had been disarmed.

Maureen Karran, museum president, said a visitor from Scotland, who was an expert in the area of munitions, pointed out he could not tell if an explosive round had been disabled.

The man then questioned if another piece of munition had been disarmed.

Karran said the items in question were a British hand grenade, known as a Mills bomb, and a mortar shell.

“You couldn't tell by looking at them if they had been disarmed or not,” said Karran.

Karran said when there is a possibility any munitions on display could still be live, the museum must take action.

The museum was immediately closed and officials contacted the RCMP which in turn called the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.

The unit arrived at the museum, which also houses the art gallery, on Sept. 9 and examined the munitions and removed only an anti-aircraft shell for disposal.

The specialized military unit then examined all of the munitions on display and determined they had all been disarmed.

“It was reassuring,” Karran said of the expert examination, adding the items are all behind glass and were not handled by the public.

Like many items at the museum, the munitions in question had been donated and Karran said the museum board will be discussing the matter at their regular meeting Wednesday to determine how to handle any future donations.

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