Bomb Squad Called after British Man’s WWII Munitions Collection Discovered

In addition to small arms and hand-to-hand weapons, the collection contained grenades, bombs, shells and other potentially dangerous munitions. (Photo: Parry/Daily Mail)

British police evacuated a Yorkshire neighborhood after discovering a sizable collection of World War II-era and other weapons in the small town of Penistone. More than 100 homes were evacuated for fears of gas shells and other dangers.

The cache included shells, grenades and ammunition as well as handguns, rifles, machine guns and submachine guns. It also included knives, bayonets and brass knuckles, all relics from the war. Police say every room in the house was filled by the collection, with arms on display and in heaps.

It turned out that the collection was owned by a resident of Penistone, Martin Johnson. Police found the cache after Johnson died at 51. According to investigators, Johnson died of natural causes.

Weapons were found throughout the Johnson property. (Photo: Parry/Daily Mail)

“There was a whole house full of stuff,” said lead investigator Andy Hodgkinson to the Daily Mail. “Munitions, firearms, shells and grenades.”

“The occupant of the house had clearly been collecting these things for an entire lifetime,” he said. “This was definitely a lifetime collection.”

Police drew a half-mile circle around the house and evacuated the area due to the dangers of unexploded ordnance. The town council put the evacuees up at a local hotel.

“I was coming back from town on the bus and as I went past I could see all my road is blocked off,” said Jade Dennis. Dennis and her family were among the residents who had to evacuate their homes.

The police found some unexploded ordnance within the collection. (Photo: Parry/Daily Mail)

“I was told there were bombs on the street but I didn’t believe them because Penistone is such a small town,” she said. “It’s a bit of a shock. You just don’t know what people have got in their homes.”

Police did find some unexploded ordnance in Johnson’s collections. The police ordered it to be destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Though the police are acting as a precaution, Johnson’s family has asked police to wrap up their investigation and return the rest of the collection as soon as possible.

See Also: Couple Discovers Cache of French Resistance Guns and Ammo

“It is legal to keep such items but they have to be certified as safe,” said Hodgkinson. “There are some very valuable items in the house. We are now working with the family because they are keen to get some of the items back to them.”

Even minus the live munitions, the collection is valuable and will be returned to Johnson’s family. (Photo: Parry/Daily Mail)

“But we can obviously only do that when we know they are safe for definite,” he said. “One of our first main concerns was that some of the mortar shells indicated that they might contain chemicals like mustard gas.”

Unexploded ordnance is very unstable and bombs and chemical weapons dating back to World War I continue to endanger people to this day. Every year unexploded ordnance kills 15,000 people or more, and while it’s uncommon, it sometimes turns up in personal collections.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Andrew Friedman November 19, 2017, 10:45 am

    I am willing to bet that the family will have to fight for years to get the collection back & that in the end the Government will keep & destroy most of it. Hopefully not, but I am not confident that the Government will do the right thing.

  • elgavilansegoviano November 17, 2017, 8:34 pm

    ……….I would not visit Lefty Liberal UK, not even if the pay all the bills!!…….That country sucks!!,……AMERICA is the best!!, we have to keep fighting the Communist Gun Grabbers Political infiltrators in Washington and in every state!!,……

  • KurtW November 17, 2017, 11:26 am

    LMFAO – Any good Libbrul can tell you (with a straight face, somehow) that this man and his eeeeeeeeeevil weapons horde was probably responsible for the daily bloodbaths all over the UK.
    My favorite Pussification Of The UK story is still from 2011, when a very brave hero saved countless lives by discovering, and reporting what MUST have been 22 lbs of C4 explosive he found just lying in the street…….Oh, wait……..It was NOT 22 lbs of C4 …….:
    http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/8805022.Fossgate_bullet_find_mystery/
    And no, this is not culled from a UK version of The Onion

  • Lee Blackman November 17, 2017, 10:43 am

    I have a feeling its another case of media over-exaduration and sensationalism. I see that and the first thing that comes to mind is the guy collected de-activated guns. De-activated guns used to be a thing in the UK. Basically wall hangers. They weren’t required to be registered or anything like that. Along with training or dummy grenades. I bet the guy was a militaria collector… and not a single item was functional or “dangerous” or big and scary….

  • Duane November 17, 2017, 10:14 am

    Not sure why the police had to remove the bayonets from the property. Seems a bit mush.

    • Auggie Will November 17, 2017, 8:39 pm

      You can not have Bayonets in the UK.
      A few years ago I was in Germany where a friend gave me a Dagger that belonged to his Grandfather.
      It was an SS Dagger which is not allowed there.
      If it was found by the police it would have been destroyed.
      So he gave it to me and I don’t need to tell most people here that it is worth big $$$$ here.
      Took the train to the UK for my flight back here and there Customs people seen it in my bag.
      You would have thought they found a bomb!
      I told them the story about why I had it and I was taking it back home with me.
      It took over an hour + I was lucky that they let me keep it at there office till I got to the airport the next day.
      One of there people gave it back to me at the check-in counter where I put it in one of my checked bags.
      Once it was checked in then he let me go to board my plane.

      • Andrew Friedman November 19, 2017, 10:42 am

        You were very lucky. Friend of mine used a 30.06 shell case for tamping down his pipe. Security at Heathrow went crazy. They brought him in for interrogation and in the end confiscated that deadly shell casing, never to be seen again.

  • Chris November 17, 2017, 9:16 am

    I’d be grinning like a fiend going through that fella’s collection. That Mg34 is sweeet! I saw this the other day on another site with many more photos. Saw some nice WW2 German daggers, bayonets, etc.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2574905/Terrifying-cache-weapons-including-grenades-shells-knuckledusters-MACHINE-GUNS-home-dead-man-51-Yorkshire-market-town.html

  • billybob November 14, 2017, 9:05 pm

    Sale the parts! That zb26 barrel is worth thousands !

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