A mortar round found during excavations in a Gloucestershire village has been safely detonated by an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team. The mortar was found in the small settlement of Hatherop, forcing an evacuation of the local area as Police attended.
The origin of the device is unclear, although there was a large military presence in the area during WWII. Hatherop Castle was used by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) – an organisation tasked with espionage and sabotage operations behind enemy lines – as its Danish Holding School training centre. There were also several nearby military camps associated with RAF Fairford and its landing ground at Southrop, including one to the east of the village in Macaroni Wood.
Perhaps more significantly, a series of WWI practice trenches and a possible firing platform have been identified to the north of the village on historical aerial photography, a clear indication that the area was used for military training during the Great War.