Weighty memento: war veteran's secret revealed after his death
Ronald Brown stepped on a land mine while on a mission in France in August 1944.
The blast peppered his left leg with red-hot fragments and he was forced to crawl two miles to safety.
But because of medical conditions of the day it was thought safer to leave shrapnel in his body.
He survived the war but only ever told his family the basic story and said the accident had left him with a 'bad knee'.
Mr Brown told loved ones he still had a 'bullet' in his leg and asked his grandchildren not to sit on his knee because of the pain it caused.
But when he died last week aged 94 his family had him cremated and were stunned when staff handed them back a big bag of shrapnel.
The bag contained a whopping 6oz of bomb shrapnel that he had been carrying around for 60 years.
Daughter Jane Madden, 55, of Exeter, Devon said her father told her there was a bullet in his knee from the war, never mentioning the pile of fragments. She said: "I don't think he ever realised all that was in his leg - it weighed about six ounces.
"He'd said there was a bullet in his leg but I was imagining one romantic piece of metal.
"But when we went to scatter his ashes we asked whether the bullet had been found and they gave us this bag full of metal.
"It's just macabre really and amazing because he never used to complain about the pain. It just shows how brave he was."
Mr Brown, of Exeter, joined the East Yorkshire Regiment at the age of 21 and was a quartermaster when he suffered his injury.
He stepped on the booby trap while on manoeuvres in August 1944, two months after D Day.
Posted by: Beavis 2012-10-19