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Bomb squad detonates World War Two shell taken into north Devon school for show-and-tell

A picture of the shell, which was taken into a Devon primary school for a class show-and-tell Photo:

A World War Two explosive device taken into a Devon primary school for 'show and tell' had to be detonated by a military bomb squad.

The shell was believed to be deactivated when it was shown to the pupil's classmates, aged between 9 and 10, at Kingsacre Primary School in Braunton on January 16.

But after concerns were raised the following day about whether it might still be live, Devon and Cornwall Police called the Royal Navy's bomb disposal unit - who decided to detonate it.

Headteacher Claire Cole said the school was now reviewing its "procedures for show and tell" in light of the incident.

A family brought into school medals that their great grandfather had won, along with an empty shell case.

These had been kept in the family home for decades.

They were displayed to the class but at no time were they handed around to pupils.

The next day the artefacts were collected by the grandfather.

It now appears that questions were asked within the family about whether the empty shell case was totally safe and, as a precautionary measure, the grandfather took it to the police station. I had no knowledge of this until now but clearly we will need to review our procedures for show and tell and what is brought into school.

– Claire Cole, Kingsacre Primary School headteacher

It was the pupil's grandfather who questioned if the device might still be live, after it had been taken into the school.

He transported it in the boot of his car to Barnstaple police station on January 17, where the alarm was raised.

The shell that was brought in to school.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed the shell was brought to Barnstaple police station and later disposed of.

Royal Navy spokesperson Peter Wooldridge praised the family for handing the device over to the police.

We have to be careful about what is lurking in our cupboards.

The family in this case did the right thing by passing it over to the police, but really these devices are best left untouched.

If you think you have something like this, it is best to leave it alone and call 999.

The police will be best placed to deal with it and can call our EOD team to come and investigate.

– Peter Wooldridge, Royal Navy