For one of our investigations into a possible German soldier buried anonymously in the municipality of Deurne, I was carrying out field research on December 8, 2015, together with Cor Slaats and Piet Smits from Liessel. During an exploratory phase of the probable burial site, we unexpectedly encountered an explosive at only 15 centimeters deep. After carefully exposing the explosive, it quickly became clear that it was an American Mk 2 hand grenade whose safety pin with ring and the ignition lever were missing, but were later found near the location.

The hand grenade was covered with sand again and the location was marked by us so that the exact location, after a report to the correct authorities, could easily be traced. Unfortunately, it is not obvious for every finder of an explosive that this makes mention of his find, but for me, of course, because this hand grenade can also be found by persons who are unable or unwilling to deal with it in a responsible manner. For example, there are also increasingly better children’s metal detectors on the market that respond to such an explosive and not all explosives are immediately recognizable and sometimes appear not to be as innocent as they look.

Because explosives often lie under the ground for a longer period of time, they can become unstable due to erosion, which is why it is important to always carefully dig, so that you avoid the explosive with the excavator. Stop digging immediately when finding ammunition or other dangerous objects and immediately alert the police, who will instruct you further what to do.