A boy visiting Oxford to see his aunt ended the day fishing an antique stick grenade from the River Thames.

Elijah Hearn hooked the rusting ordnance from the river at East Street under the watchful eyes of experienced magnet fishermen.

“I found a bomb,” the nine-year-old from St Ives, Cambridgeshire gleefully told the Oxford Mail on Saturday afternoon.

Asked how it felt to find the ancient grenade, he replied: “Amazing.”

Oxford Mail: Elijah Hearn on East Street, Oxford Picture: OMElijah Hearn on East Street, Oxford Picture: OM

Elijah was in Oxford to visit his aunt. He said: “I came over here [to the bank, where the group was setting up], said hello and they let me have a go at some magnet fishing.”

On the first go at throwing the rope, to which is attached a powerful magnet, young Elijah ‘didn’t really find much’.

He added: “On the second throw that’s when the man told me we found a bomb. He told me to stay back.”

The ordnance – in fact an old First World War grenade – was safely removed, the Mail was told.

Mum Fleur Hearn, 30, said: “It’s interesting. I think it’s quite exciting – as long as it’s not live.”

The group under whose watchful eyes Elijah fished the grenade out the river said they had found ‘at least’ five 100-year-old hand grenades in the river along with three handguns.

Oxford Mail: A rusted Spiggot mortar pulled from the River Thames Picture: OMA rusted Spiggot mortar pulled from the River Thames Picture: OM

Among a pile of rusting metal that could be seen on the bank on Saturday afternoon was a rusted-through Spiggot mortar, a type of anti-tank weapon issued to Home Guard units in the Second World War.

Thames Valley Police was approached for comment.

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