Medmerry

It is understood that a member of the public reported a suspicious device to the Coast Guard on Medmerry Beach.

An army bomb squad was called to the scene and a safety cordon was established. This closed the beach to the public. On arrival, the EOD team conducted a search of the beach. As a result, a second device was located.

The devices were subsequently destroyed in a controlled explosion.

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Explosive Ordnance Disposal engineers identified the items as British air-dropped munitions dating from WWII. However, the specific types were not reported.

One of the devices resembles a small RAF GP bomb, without its tail fin unit. However, the lack of scale in the photo means it could also be the warhead of an RAF rocket or some other munition.

UXO finds associated with a bombing range have the potential to be extremely dangerous. Chiefly due to the large masses of high explosive contained within air-dropped bombs.

pic 2 1 RAF unexploded ordnance washes up on Sussex beach
The second device found.
Selsey and Medmerry Beaches: a UXO Legacy

During WWII, Medmerry was an isolated and unpopulated stretch of coastline, perfect for military use. An RAF practice bombing range was soon established and used throughout the war, by British and Allied nation air forces.

Both live (hazardous) munitions and training munitions were dropped on the intertidal area. The range was mainly used by army cooperation units in the close air support role. Aircraft would approach from inland and drop various bombs and rockets on target markers.

In 2011, the Environment Agency constructed a flood bank in the area, creating a new wetland. However, this construction flooded the old bombing range, dislodging numerous shallow buried items of UXO. Consequently, such UXO incidents are now commonplace.

pic 3 RAF unexploded ordnance washes up on Sussex beach
Medmerry Nature Reserve. Part of the former bombing range.