The workers encountered the potentially hazardous ammunition whilst preparing a site for a new build. Police raised the alarm and called in bomb disposal experts from the army’s Royal Logistic Corps.

The incident occurred at a primary school within the small village of Wickhambreaux, Kent. It is noteworthy that the army did not carry out a controlled explosion. Presumably the unexploded ordnance (UXO) did not pose a threat. 

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ammunition WWII
Corroded small arms ammunition of WWII vintage. What the UXO find on site may have looked like.

The specific identity of the UXO is unknown. Small arms ammunition (SAA) does not usually pose a significant hazard. SAA (bullets) placed in a fire could ignite, causing a hazard.

How did UXO come to be buried under a Kent school?

Kent was the front line for the British during 1940. This was mainly due to its location, just 20 miles from Nazi occupied France. Its coastline bristled with fortifications and its garrison force numbered in the tens of thousands.

This never before seen concentration of British military might in the county inevitably resulted in lost or discarded ammunition. Consequently, incidents such as this UXO find are not uncommon. Armed Home Guard soldiers patrolled all over the county during WWII and were likely responsible for this discarded ammunition. The site was also school during the 1940s, indicating the ill discipline of some soldiers during this conflict.