Unexploded device rushed away by bomb experts after it was found in Northamptonshire canal

Ethan Ward stumbled across the mortar shell while out with his family and friends.
Ethan Ward stumbled across the mortar shell while out with his family and friends.

Bomb disposal experts had to be called when a first-time artefact angler was left stunned after hooking an unusual catch of the day.

Caroline Chisholm School student Ethan Ward, 13, was magnet fishing with his dad and friends at the Grand Union Canal in Blisworth on Bank Holiday Monday (May 28) when his magnet detected an unexploded bomb.

The unexploded bomb.

The unexploded bomb.

After the family made a call to police, six police cars were on the scene within half an hour followed by bomb disposal experts.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said: "We were called at 12.05 pm on May 28 to Station Road, Blisworth, to a report of an unexploded World War Two device found in the Grand Union Canal.

"The EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) attended and the device was neutralised and taken away."

But despite police saying the bomb dates back to World War Two, Ethan's dad, Matt Ward, said he believes the mortar shell was from the Second Boer War era around 1899.

Ethan and friend Bert were magnet fishing together before they stumbled across the old bomb on Monday.

Ethan and friend Bert were magnet fishing together before they stumbled across the old bomb on Monday.

The three-year Second Boer War was fought between the two Boer states and the British Empire between 1899 and 1902, over the Empire's influence in South Africa.

Matt said: "Ethan is the one who pulled it out. It's the first time he had ever been magnet fishing and its the first thing he pulled out of the canal.

"There was about six police cars with us in about half hour of ringing. The bomb squad rang me and said can you cordon the area until we get there."

The Weedon Ordnance Artillery Depot, in Weedon Bec, played a vital role in the Crimean War and the Boer War, and Matt believes the device could have been left undiscovered since then.

Nearby Station Road remained closed for five hours between noon and 5 o'clock.