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Hawkinge boy Kane Byrne makes explosive discovery in field near major Second World War aerodrome weeks after finding rocket heads

06 March 2014
by Sam Lennon

It was second time unlucky for a boy with a metal detector who found a wartime shell - weeks after uncovering two rocket heads near his Hawkinge home.

A playing field had to be cordoned off on Saturday night when 12-year-old Kane Byrne made the discovery at the site of a major Second World War aerodrome.

It was just weeks after he hit the headlines when he and a friend found two devices with a detector given for Christmas - before taking them home.

Kane Byrne with his metal detector

Kane Byrne with his metal detector

Kane's father Karl said: "I had told him to keep away from the site where he had found the rockets, but now he found this in a field just 200 yards away.

"It makes me wonder how many of these there are and I think they have come to the surface because of the amount of rain we have had."

Kane, 12, discovered the 10in long shell in a playing field close to Haven Drive on Saturday.

"It makes me wonder how many of these there are and I think they have come to the surface because of the amount of rain we have had..." - Kane's father Karl Byrne

Police were called to the site at 5.32pm and sealed off the area until the Ministry of Defence's explosive ordnance disposal team attended.

They took the device away and the cordon was removed by police next morning.

The site is 200 yards from his family home in Curlew Place, but also close to where he and pal Alex Taylor, 12, found the two 10 to 12in Second World War rockets heads on January 9.

They boys had then brought back the weapons to Kane's family home, much to the consternation of Mr Byrne. This time Kane immediately rang his father, who alerted police.

Mr Byrne, 41, said: "After last time, he learned to leave the object there and phoned me. He dug a little and saw the shape of the object and guessed what it was after last time.

"It was only three or four inches below ground and this was the second time ever had used the metal detector.

"The bomb disposal team couldn't come round until 7am next day so police had to keep the area cordoned off overnight."

Kane Byrne, 12, with friend Alex Taylor who was with him when the first explosives were found

Kane Byrne, 12, with friend Alex Taylor who was with him when the first explosives were found

Kane, who attends Dover Grammar School for Boys, had this time made the discovery with another pal from Hawkinge.

The weapons found in January had been identified as British anti-tank rocket warheads from the Second World War.

The shell has also been confirmed as from that period by the Ministry of Defence.

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The Byrne family live on the Turlingham Village Estate, which is on the original Hawkinge Aerodrome, a vital airfield during the Battle of Britain.

The MoD has now confirmed that neither the two rocket heads or the shell were explosive.

A spokesman said: "The rocket heads were practice rounds and not explosive. The shell was a solid lump of metal, like a large bullet. It cannot explode because it is a weapon for penetrating objects."

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