Soldier discovers Iraqi bullet lodged in shorts



An Army technician has discovered a surprise souvenir from the conflict in Iraq - a Kalashnikov bullet lodged in a pair of his shorts.

Dave Cox's wife found the 7.62mm cartridge as she washed his kit following his return from the war.

The 44-year-old corporal, a part-time Territorial Army soldier, believes the round stuck in his kitbag as his unit came under heavy fire in Basra, southern Iraq.

His wife, Margaret, told him that the buckled, copper-coloured bullet had punctured a pair of socks and shorts and fell on to the kitchen floor as she turned out his kitbag.

Cpl Cox, of Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was working with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards as a tank recovery technician when his Warrior armoured personnel carrier came under fire.

"All hell broke loose," he said. "I slammed my foot down to get our tracked Warrior out of there quick. But we didn't see the two enemy teams waiting for us just around the corner with rocket-propelled grenades at the ready."

The unit had at first believed the shots were fireworks, but became worried as bullets rained down on their vehicle.

More troops, in a Challenger 2 tank, moved in to support the technicians, taking out enemy soldiers armed with grenades, before the unit came under further fire.

"Thank God for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. One of their tank crews sorted out the Iraqis in the nick of time," said Cpl Cox, who has been attached to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for the last three years.

The fire-fight badly damaged equipment on the Warrior vehicle, including water supplies in Jerry cans and

Cpl Cox's tool box. But the soldier was unaware his kitbag had also been shot, until his return home.