A teenager sparked a bomb scare when he took home a World War II shell.

Bomb disposal experts were called to 13-year-old Thomas Sheaf’s home in Spearywell Road, Mottisfont, by his father, Kelvin, who became worried after doing some detective works on the internet.

Thomas picked up what turned out to be a spent shell fired from a British 57mm anti-tank gun when he was dog walking with his mother, Emma, on the Mottisfont Estate. He took the shell home and left it on the patio table.

Dad, Kelvin, 45, said: “He picked it up in the woods on Monday morning and brought it home. I didn’t take much notice at the time. Out of interest, I looked on the internet the next day to see if I could identify it. I came across three shells and it looked like a highly-explosive one and it was then that it panicked me a bit.”

Mr Sheaf alerted the police and the bomb disposal unit were sent to inspect the device.

The Sheaf family and their next-door neighbours were ordered to evacuate the area.

The garden and surrounding area was cordoned off while the two-man bomb disposal crew examined the shell and confirmed that it was from a quick-firing six- pounder anti-tank gun.

“They walked down to where it was and after looking at it, gave the all clear. They told me the ones to avoid have a ring on the top,” said Mr Sheaf, who added that the bomb disposal staff politely told his son that if he found any more shells not to touch them, but mark the spot and call them.