Two Boys Discover WWII Anti-Tank Shells in Kent


On January 15th, the Daily Mail reported two young boys, age 12, brought home World War Two anti-tank shells. It was said that the shells could have “vaporized anything within six feet” if they were overheated. The shells were identified as such by a picture sent via smart phone picture to a former bomb disposal member.

The boys created quite the bomb scare when they brought home the two warheads after they spent the day metal detecting in a field in Kent.

Kane Byrne and Alex Taylor, both 12, were looking for cool things and coins in the field when they discovered the shells from WWII. They have since been identified as anti-tank shells. The shells were eventually destroyed in a controlled explosion conducted by the local police.

The shells were identified by Kane’s grandfather, Mike Woodland. Woodland was a former Royal Engineer bomb disposal expert. He said the weapons were defused, but they still needed to contact the authorities.

Karl Byrne, the boy’s father, placed the warheads in a bag and in a far corner of the garden so they wouldn’t overheat and possibly explode. ‘When I saw those warheads in the house my face said it all.

‘They wanted to show me the treasures that Kane had brought back.

‘I felt panicked but kept calm for the children. I knew what those objects were.’

The boys had the day off from Dover Grammar School for Boys due to flooding, so they decided to go exploring. ‘We didn’t really know what they were at first. But I’m glad we found them because they’ve now been made safe,’ 12-year-old Kane said.

‘It’s not put me off metal detecting but the police told me that next time I find something I’m not sure about to tell my dad first.

Alex, also from Folkestone, added: “We dug it out and it looked like a large bottle. It was about 1ft deep in the ground.

‘We took it back to Kane’s house and cleaned it and decided to go back to see if there were more.

‘We found the second one had been right next to the first and brought that back, too.


Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE