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.