About 5 minutes from where I live, Royal Naval bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on Shoebury East Beach, on Easter Sunday, after seven WWII artillery shells and six under wing machine guns, were found a quarter of a mile off shore.
There has been some recent dredging for the deep water docks in Tilbury that has removed a lot of silt from Shoebury so anything that landed in the river is coming to the surface.
For 150 years there was a massive Royal Artillery garrison in Shoebury, and even now there is still some sneaky beaky, secret squirrel MOD establishment, so the artillery shells are fairly easily explained as guns were always being test fired over the water.
There have always been tales of planes crashing into the Estuary during WWII, especially during the Battle of Britain, so the machine guns have probably come from a previously undiscovered plane wreck.
One well known wreck occurred on the night of Sunday 15th September 1940, when the Anti Aircraft Gun Emplacement at Thorpe Hall shot down a German Heinkel HE111 bomber, which crashed on the mud flats of the New Ranges. The crew were rescued and taken to hospital to have their injuries treated. The wreck of the aircraft was left to be slowly destroyed by the tide, parts of the aircraft were still visible until the mid-1970’s, the engines are still believed to exist under the shifting sands.
Not far off the coast is the ship wreck of the SS Montgomery, an American Liberty ship, which sank in 1944 with around 1,400 tonnes of explosives on board. To this day, the ship, and its contents, are a hazard to the area.
There is also a section of a Mulberry Harbour, which sunk in bad weather whilst being towed to the Normandy beaches, which is till visible about two miles off the coast.
Just goes to show that although WWII ended nearly 70 years ago, we are surrounded by constant reminders.
The controlled explosion being carried out