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Schoolboy sparks bomb alert after taking live shell home
7:43am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
A HAMPSHIRE teenager sparked a bomb scare when he took home a Second World War shell.
Bomb disposal experts were called to 13-year-old Thomas Sheaf’s home by his father, who became worried after doing some detective work into what the device was on the Internet.
Dad Kelvin and family and their nextdoor neighbours were ordered to evacuate the area and his garden and surrounding area was cordoned off while the two-man bomb disposal crew looked at the shell and confirmed that it was a shell from an Ordnance Quick-Firing six pounder.
Thomas picked up what turned out to be a spent shell fired from a British 57mm anti-tank gun when he was dog-walking with his mother Emma and other family members on the Mottisfont Estate.
He took it home and left it on the patio table in the garden of the cottage where they live in Spearywell Road, Mottisfont.
Kelvin said: “He picked it up in the woods on Monday morning and brought it home. I didn’t take much notice at the time.
“Out of interest I looked on the Internet the next day to see if I could identify it. I came across three shells and it looked like a highly explosive one and it was then that it panicked me a bit.”
Kelvin then alerted the police and the bomb disposal unit were sent to inspect the device.
It is not known how the shell got there, but during the Second World War the Americans trained at Lockerley Camp, about a mile away.
Mottisfont Estate was also used as a training ground in the 1960s but no shots were fired.
Once the bomb disposal squad had taken the shell away for safe disposal they told Thomas that if he finds any more shells not to touch them, but to mark the spot and call them.
“They walked down to where it was and after looking at it gave the allclear.
They told me the one to avoid has a ring on the top of it,” said 45- year-old Kelvin.