A grieving husband was left stunned after a paramedic called to his dead wife spotted an harmless ornament – and called the BOMB SQUAD.
Devoted Bert Hendy dialled 999 after his wife Jean stopped breathing shortly after waking up but by the time they arrived she had passed away.
But an eagle eyed paramedic – formerly a marine – spotted the nose cone of a World War One bomb on their mantlepiece.
Bert had been given the century-old deactivated shell ten years ago on a trip to Belgium and put it on a shelf.
But the paramedic insisted on calling police who raced to the home with bomb experts to examine it.
They then removed the device and began taking photos of the shell – all while Mrs Hendy remained dead on her sofa.
Eventually the three-inch tall nose cone, which was nailed to a wooden plinth, was then removed by trained officers.
Jean’s son Steve, 62, said: “Dad had got mum up as normal and sat her on the settee and was trying to give her some medication.
“But she just put her head back and closed her eyes and he couldn’t rouse her. By the time paramedics arrived, mum had sadly passed away.
“But while he was here, the paramedic noticed the nose cone of this bomb on the mantelpiece.
“He kept picking it up and looking at it and then said to us that he thought it was live and he was going to have to call the police. We couldn’t believe it.
“Mum had just passed away and all this was going on around her.”
Mr Hendy, 85, a former officer in the Navy, had been given the nose cone from the 18lb British bomb during a visit to Hotton, in Belgium.
He had been to visit the war graves in the city as his brother, Fred, who was killed in the Second World War aged just 19, is buried there.
On his return Mr Hendy, who had been married to Jean for 63 years, drilled and ground the shell so it would fit on a wooden plinth he had made.
Steve added: “He drilled it and ground it so it would fit on this plinth. At no time did any of us ever think it could be live – it is 100 years old.
“It’s one of his pride and joys and had just been sitting there on the mantelpiece for years.”
A few days after the incident police returned to Mr Hendy, complete with the nose cone, to inform him it was completely safe.
He was issued with a certificate saying the device was certified as free of explosives.
Steve added: ”This was typical of her – causing such a drama. In a way it was a fitting finale for our mum – she certainly went out with a bang.”
A police spokesman said: “At around 8.15am on Sunday, July 28, we were informed by the ambulance service that they had found some sort of World War One device.
“We attended the property in Allerton Crescent and took photos of the object.
“At 12.30pm the Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) advised us that they were happy with the object and it could safely be removed to the local police station for storage.”
Tragic Jean was left sat on the sofa for three-and-a-half hours while officers dealt with the nose cone.
Husband Bert called the ambulance shortly after 7.45am, and although they arrived quickly, Mrs Hendy was left sat on the sofa until 11.30am.
Despite the long delay however Steve said that the incident portrayed his mum, who was 81 when she died, “perfectly” and summed up her character.
“Mum was a bit of a character, she is probably having a good laugh about all of this,” he said.
“It’s just very typical her, she caused a fuss where ever she went, it’s a good last thing to remember her by.
“I really can’t fault the paramedics, they were very sympathetic and dealt with it in a very good way.
“The paramedic’s first priority was always my mum, as soon as he turned up he checked her over but sadly she had already passed.”