A war-time German bomb has been found by a worker carrying out excavations on a building site near Broadbridge Heath.
The 1,000lb Luftwaffe bomb was discovered buried 1.5 metres into the earth in a ‘nose down’ position.
Experts from the Gosport-based UXB specialist firm of Fellows International quickly established that the bomb was free from explosives and not ‘live.’
The construction site where the bomb was found was formerly used as a Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal School where Royal Engineers bomb disposal teams were trained after the war. It closed in the early 1960s.
Daniel Hunt, from Wings Museum at Balcombe - where the bomb is now housed - said: “The Fellows engineer adopted a calm and experienced approach, offering initial safety advice to site management.
“Without the professionalism and experience of the Fellows UXO engineer, the bomb would have been assumed to be dangerous and the site evacuated causing massive disruption to the local area.
“The emergency services and military bomb disposal teams were not required due to the swift and accurate identification of the inert bomb.”
He said the semi-armour piercing bomb had been designed for use against reinforced structures and ships and was used througout the Blitz on London.
He added: “It is likely that the bomb casing had been a UXB that had been defused and made safe during WW2 and kept for training purposes and buried on site for students to practice bomb disposal techniques.”
The bomb casing has now been rehomed to be put on public display at the Wings Museum near Balcombe when it reopens for the 2018 season in March.
The museum - previously based at Redhill Aerodrome - is run by volunteers and is a registered charity. It is housed in a large ‘hangar’-style building.
It is still very much dedicated to remembering and recording the history of the Royal Air Force at Redhill.
Displays include a Redhill Book of Remembrance where every mission flown from RAF Redhill was researched by museum curator Daniel Hunt and lists over 70 pilots who lost their lives.