A stretch of the esplanade at Westcliff-on-Sea near Southend was cordoned off by Police after the discovery of 2No. suspected items of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) on the beach. Thought to be unexploded shells, the devices were destroyed in a controlled explosion at low tide by an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.
Such finds are common along the seafront at Southend, which is situated a short distance along the coast from the historic Shoeburyness Ranges, which have been used for firing practice by the military since the mid-19th century.
More than 2 million rounds of 9.2″ Howitzer ammunition were tested at Shoeburyness during WWI, with a further 1.3 million rounds of various ammunition fired during WWII, much of it out to sea. This has contributed to a significant amount of UXO in the marine environment near Southend, with tidal currents and stormy weather often washing up items along the popular beachfront.