Family Learns WWII Vet's Secret in Cremation

Ronald Brown's leg wound was far worse than they knew
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Updated Oct 21, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Family Learns WWII Vet's Secret in Cremation
British commandos in Germany, 1945.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Ronald Brown's family always believed he had a bullet in his leg. That's what he told them, after all, and it explained why the World War II veteran would set off airport scanners and ask his grandkids to sit on "the other" knee. But when he died at age 94 and was cremated, officials at the crematorium handed his family the remains—mixed with the 6 ounces of shrapnel he was carrying around in his leg, the Telegraph reports.

"It’s amazing because he never used to complain about the pain," his daughter tells the Daily Mail. Brown was serving in France in June 1944 when a booby-trap device fired red-hot metal into his leg; he opted to avoid the butchery of war surgery and leave the shrapnel in there. In later life, though, he still took daily walks and was "an active man," says one of his grandchildren. Click for the Mail's full article and its comments, some of which question whether the metal really came from his cremated coffin. (Read more war injuries stories.)

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