Family keep live WWI bomb in their house... because they did not want evacuation to 'cause a fuss'

When barristers Sophie and Nick Isaac unearthed an unexploded World War I bomb at their new home, they remained perfectly calm.

So calm, in fact that the couple waited ten days until the half-term holidays before alerting the authorities to the device so as not to disrupt a nearby primary school.

The Isaacs even allowed son Thomas, aged ten, to pose for a picture alongside the live artillery shell while Mr Isaac attempted to clean it with a wire brush before bomb disposal officers were eventually summoned to the five-bedroom property.

Thomas Isaac, ten, poses next to an unexploded WWI bomb

Souvenir photo: Thomas Isaac, ten, poses next to an unexploded WWI bomb found at his new home in Birmingham

Today, after the device was taken away for detonation and police lifted a 1,300ft cordon around the property, the unflappable couple told how officers had initially asked them to drive the bomb to a police station when they called to report what they had found under a work bench in their garage.

While they refused to do that, Mr Isaac, 41, did carry the 30cm bomb out of the garage to the driveway because they 'didn't really fancy the bomb disposal squad blowing up the garage if they had to carry out a controlled examination.'

Mrs Isaac, 42, said: 'Nick was clearing out the garage when he found the bomb covered in tatty rags. It looked like it had been there for years.

'We weren't too concerned it would blow up because we figured if it was going to explode it would have done so a long time ago.'

The family knew they would have to alert the police to the bomb but say they were worried about the effect it would have on St Bernard's Catholic Primary School, close to their home in Moseley, Birmingham.

So they left the potentially lethal explosive in the garage for almost a week, then went on a bank holiday weekend break before finally raising the alarm on Tuesday.

Police cordon off Wake Green Road in Birmingham

Cordoned off: Sophie and Nick Isaac waited ten days before alerting police to the device because they didn't want to shut down a local primary school

Mrs Isaac added: 'I called the police and someone called back and asked if we would take it to the station.

'I told them there was no way I was doing that and the next thing we knew the Bomb Disposal Unit was outside the door.

'I was half expecting the amount of fuss it caused which is why we waited until half-term to do it. The school is just close enough for the police to have considered evacuating it and that would have been an absolute nightmare.

'We wanted to cause as little inconvenience as possible.'

Mr Isaac said he was not concerned about the bomb exploding because it had 'obviously been there for quite a while' and he assumed it must have been moved in the past.

He added: 'On the day I found it I had been reading in the newspaper about a police station which had to be evacuated after an old man brought in a live mortar bomb so I didn't want to cause that kind of stir.'

About ten homes were evacuated and the main street into Moseley was brought to a standstill for three hours as the cordon went up around their home.

The bomb squad X-rayed the device, which dated from 1915, and established that although it was live, it was stable enough to be taken away rather than blown up on the spot.

The Isaacs' property in Birmingham

Location: The Isaacs had only just moved into the five-bedroom home in Moseley

The origin of the bomb remains a mystery but the house used to belong to a Dr Gordon, an ophthalmologist at the city's Selly Oak Hospital who died just over a year ago. He is believed to have inherited the house from his father and lived there alone for 45 years, only using a few of the rooms.

The Isaacs, who also have a daughter, Grace, aged eight, believe Dr Gordon's father may have brought the device back from the war as a souvenir, and took it with him to the house, which was built in the 1920s.

The incident follows a similar one in nearby Edgbaston in December when workmen found an unexploded WWII grenade in a garden. A controlled explosion on a nearby football pitch left a 2ft-wide crater.

The Ministry of Defence's Major Simon Worthy said a unit from Ashchurch military base in Gloucestershire attended the incident.

He said: 'We got hold of the bomb and it was taken away for disposal.

'The message is that if you find anything like this don't touch it. You shouldn't wait, call the police immediately.'

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