During season one of WW2 Treasure Hunters, the episode ‘The Bomb Factory’ was filmed just outside Loughborough. The land around Garendon House was occupied by No 32 Ammunition Sub-depot and they were responsible for over 30,000 tons of ordnance stored on the site, and on the grass verges of the country lanes surrounding Loughborough.
At the end of the war the RAOC had to recovery all of this ordnance and either put it back into service, send if for recycling, or (for the more unstable items that they had) blow the living daylights out of it in a disposal pit.
WW2 Treasure Hunters covered the story well, but what it didn’t dig down in to was what they were blowing up at the depot. After all, they dealt with everything from small arms ammo to artillery shells, grenades, mines and even incendiary bombs. The finds made around the location of the old disposal pit over the last few years, have given a real insight into what they were disposing of. The location of the pit and the surrounding field is littered with the exploded remains of many a piece of ordnance, and identifying each piece confirms exactly what they were blasting into pieces!
The site was visited by members of the WW2 Relic Retrieval & Preservation Group on the 15th September, then a return visit by just myself on the 21st September. Some of the finds were what we expected to find, having been digging the site for a few years now. 40mm Bofors shell fragments, No 3 fuzes from Mk V anti-tank mines and incendiary bomb tile breakers are all common finds at the site. But some of the finds have added to the story, with evidence of other bits of ordnance being blown to hell and back in the quiet country estate!
First off, the finds made by the group members from the first dig…..
Not a bad dig at all with plenty of finds. The piece from a Mk 2 shrapnel mine was a first for this site so it has added to the inventory of what was being disposed of.
I returned 6 days later, on my own this time, and had another good dig.
These two digs have shown that there were No 2 shrapnel mines as well as possibly No 36M grenades also being disposed of at the site. The artillery shell protective caps were also a new find! The history keeps coming……