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Corroded 100 Year-old Grenade Located In Tipperary.

A badly corroded 100 year-old grenade located near the monument at Solohead in South West Co. Tipperary was removed to a safe location where it was destroyed in a controlled explosion on Friday last, September 22nd, by the Irish Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

Corroded Mills Bomb’, a fully intact ‘Mills Bomb’ and their inventor English engineer Sir William Mills.

The corroded device located by Tipperary County Council staff carrying out road repairs, resembled an MK I time-fused fragmentation hand grenade, latter used during the early years of World War I.
The device, according to its original designer, was then the simplest, yet most fool-proof grenade ever manufactured and replaced the existing cast-iron canister, latter set on an 18-inch stick, which was dangerous to use because it often got caught on trench fronts, when lobbed.
However, the MK I was retired from active use before the war ended, and was replaced in 1918 with the improved Mk 2 grenade used through the period of World War II.

Known by a more popular name, the “Mills bomb”, this series of British hand grenades, were used by British and Imperial forces, having been designed by English engineer Sir William Mills, (24th April 1856 – 7th January 1932) who also gave us our aluminium golf clubs, known as Metallic Golfing Instrument Heads.
Some 75,000,000 of these World War I Mills Bomb grenades were manufactured, with their four-second time fuses, allowing the thrower to easily take cover before they exploded.

Numerous, similar devices are located every year here in Ireland, with one such grenade device located in the Rosemount area of Thurles, in February 2018.
On November 16th, 2017, two men, one from Cahir, Co. Tipperary and the other from Clonmel in Co. Tipperary, were arrested having in their possession two fragmentation grenades.
On the 14th of May 2020 a Mills bomb, dating back about 100 years was made safe by the Irish Army having been discovered at Harold’s Cross bridge in Dublin, while on Wednesday 6th of March 2015, a man located a grenade Mills bomb at his home while out gardening in Newtown Lawns, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
Earlier on September 22nd, 2009, a World War II ‘Mills Bomb’ was found in Cahir, Co. Tipperary.
In 2016 in the small village of Aughrim in Co. Galway another such device was located, and on Tuesday May 21st 2013 a Mills Grenade was discovered by people digging at their home in Crosshaven, Co Cork.

Most of these devices were brought smuggled home by Irish men who had joined the British Army to fight enemies on the front during World War I, and retained for intended use during Ireland’s fight for Independence, in the years 1916-22. Unused they were hidden away in private sheds or buried, to be located by future generations.

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