Joint bomb disposal operation by Royal Navy and Army experts keeps London safe

Bomb disposal experts from the Royal Navy and British Army detonated a German Second World War device this morning after a long night of careful work at a building site in London.

The historic ordnance was found at the Brondesbury Park building site near Brent, where building work had been taking place.

The SC 500lb air-dropped bomb was found during excavation work on the site, and the Army’s Royal Engineers were called to the scene.

They handed responsibility of the ultimate disposal of the bomb to the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 after it was taken to the MOD Shoeburyness Range near Southend, Essex. 

It was good to work with the Army on this joint disposal operation and we’ll be glad to get back to base after a busy week on our duty call-out

Petty Officer (Diver) Craig Waghorn

Petty Officer (Diver) Craig Waghorn, who was part of the four-man team in charge of the operation, said: “The Army’s Royal Engineers did a great job carrying out the dangerous job of fuse immunisation and were very happy to see us after their long day and night making the bomb safe for transportation.

“It was good to work with the Army on this joint disposal operation and we’ll be glad to get back to base after a busy week on our duty call-out.”

The Royal Navy’s Southern Diving Unit 2 (SDU2) has a longstanding commitment to provide military diving and explosive ordnance aid to the UK’s civil authorities.

Much of the south of England was subject to heavy bombing during the Second World War and the team is regularly tasked with the disposal of a wide range of ordnance that could present a significant danger to the public both on the shore, at sea and on this occasion inland.

Last month, Southern Diving Unit 2 were tasked with disposing of another Second World War device – this one dredged up from the bottom of Portsmouth Harbour.

The German SC250 bomb was found during work to prepare the city for the arrival of the first of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth.