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ID number:  BIRRC-H0014
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  University Heritage Collection
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Shrapnel and incendiary bomb
Object type:  Miscellaneous
Date made:  c. 1940
Materials:  Metal, possibly steel
Measurements:  Various
BIRRC-H0014.jpg

Various pieces of shrapnel and incendiary bomb of various shapes and sizes. They are jagged and rusted.

Notes:  These various pieces of shrapnel and incendiary bomb were found in the garden of University House after air-raids during the Autumn Term of 1940. University House was the first purpose built university residence for women in the country. Students at University House were engaged in the war effort in various ways: one of these being fire watching or keeping watch for fires started by incendiary bombs. One student stated “For one whole term in 1940, we didn’t sleep in our beds for more than three nights”.

Shrapnel is so named after Lieutenant Henry Shrapnel who developed the shrapnel bomb in 1803. The incendiary is an example of a bomb designed to start fires using elements such as napalm or white phosphorous. This piece of artillery is composed of a metal shell containing much smaller shells and is designed to break on impact to release the smaller shells at the same velocity at which the larger shell was travelling.

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