No clues to origin of mortar shell found in Naramata front yard

The Horzelenbergs of Naramata discovered an old mortar shell in shrubbery outside the couple's front door on Third Street in Naramata, Sept. 26, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Facebook

PENTICTON  - A Naramata couple was shocked to discover an artillery shell in their shrubbery yesterday.

Penticton RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth says police were called to a residence on Third Street in Naramata around 3 p.m. yesterday, Sept. 25, after the homeowner discovered a mortar round in some shrubbery within two feet of the front door.

The RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit attended, arriving at the residence around 10:30 p.m. and retrieved the device, which was date stamped 1945.

Police could not say how the device ended up in the shrubs, nor if it was live.

Naramata resident Nick Horzelenberg says he and his wife, Irena, were more than a little surprised to find the shell.

“You don’t usually find those things in bushes beside the front door,” he says, adding his house is five years old and the bush, probably the same age. He figures, based on growth around the shell, it may have been there two or three years.

The military mortar shell is dated 1945.
The military mortar shell is dated 1945.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Facebook

“We didn’t take any chances. Neither did the the bomb squad, who put it in a container and took it away,” Nick says, adding it will be taken to CFB Esquimalt and destroyed.

The Horzelenbergs have no idea how the shell ended up there, speculating a collector may have placed it there, or someone was attempting to hide it.

Unexploded ordnances are not uncommon in the Vernon area where soldiers trained for World War II and those ordnances have been found as far away as Sicamous. Roughly 100 unexploded ordnances are found every year in B.C. Eight people have died in the Vernon area over the years from the ordnances, including a pair of boy scouts in 1963.

It's not everyday a homeowner finds a military mortar shell tucked in bushes right beside their front door.
It's not everyday a homeowner finds a military mortar shell tucked in bushes right beside their front door.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Facebook

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