Metal detecting debut almost goes with a bang for little Oliver Hudd in Dartford
Hudd discovered a First World War bomb shell in his
grandmother's garden in Dartford
by Lizzie Massey
When six-year-old Oliver Hudd set out on his first outing with
his new metal detector, he could never have imagined what he'd
For with just a few sweeps of the ground, the youngster had
found an 8lb First World War bomb, sparking a police
operation that saw a road cordoned off and a bomb disposal
squad rushing to the scene.
Oliver was looking for Roman coins in his grandmother's garden
in Darenth Road, Dartford, with his father Jason when the
His mother Jenny Smith said: "Jason was using it for a bit
without any luck, but as soon as Oliver touched it, it started
"Jason dug down and felt the spade hit metal. He kept digging
and hit it a good few times with the spade before seeing the
pointed end and realising it looked like a bomb."
The father-and-son treasure hunters raced into the house to tell
"I thought Jason was just mucking about at first and I didn't
really believe it," the mother-of-two added.
"I assumed it was probably some old baked bean tin, but
Jason was adamant, so we phoned the police and when they arrived
they rang for bomb disposal and closed the road.
"Oliver was so excited, running around the house shouting 'we
found a bomb', but my three-year-old daughter Josie was scared and
clinging to me."
Bomb disposal units arrived from Dover at 5pm on Sunday and
checked the bomb.
They quickly established it was a First World War bomb shell,
but did not contain any explosives.
Miss Smith, 36, said: "We couldn't believe it. The first time he
goes out with his metal detector and finds that.
"I think he reckons he's always going to be finding exciting
things now, a bomb in every field."
Little Oliver Hudd and
his father made the explosive discovery in his grandmother's garden
in Darenth Road, Dartford
The family, of East Hill, South Darenth, asked to keep
the shell but were not allowed.
Instead, Oliver has to be satisfied with sharing pictures of his
find with pupils at Birtley House school, in West Kingsdown, during
show and tell.
The full-time mother added: "The bomb disposal units weren't
sure why it was there – if it was a dud-bomb or a training
tool – but they've told us not to dig up the area anymore in case
there are more bombs, and with explosives in this time."