World War: 9-year-old discovers unexploded bomb in UK backwaters

Read along to discover the story of a 9-year-old boy who discovered an unexploded present in his backwaters in the UK.

UK: A 9-year-old, William Hartley, unwrapped his Christmas gift, which was a magnetic fishing road gifted by his parents, and went to use it in a nearby canal. Soon, along with other items, he caught an unexploded bomb, dating back to World War 1.

Read more to find out what happened.

World War One artillery shell

William used a strong fishing magnet and rope to haul the bomb out of the canal and right into his bucket.

Andrew Hartley, William's father, said:

The magnet fisher was the first thing he wanted for Christmas, and he was desperate to go out to use it. They had gone to the canal and he was sending me back pictures of some of the things he had caught. Then he suddenly rang me and said he was bringing something home but couldn’t bring it to the house.

At the time, William wasn't aware of what it was. A worried neighbour suggested the bomb could still explode, so the family contacted the police and called the bomb squad.

We waited outside and could see him with this bomb, and I just wondered if he should be bringing it home! It was a real shock. This was a Christmas he will never forget!

Unexploded bombs in Europe

Even after several years after the shelling in Europe after the world wars, there still exist thousands of bombs lying in the ground. Every year, more than 2,000 tons of unexploded bombs are discovered on German land, despite the fact that the war ended 70 years ago.

As stated in the Smithsonian Magazine:

Before any construction project begins in Germany, from the extension of a home to track-laying by the national railroad authority, the ground must be certified as cleared of unexploded ordnance.

Even aerially capturing such bombs can get difficult, as Johannes Kroeckel, who does image analysis for bomb squads, explains:

Maybe you have shadows of trees or houses. You can’t see every unexploded bomb with the aerials.
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