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Horsham man solves mystery of WWII cannon shell discovered in Cowfold

JPCT 250214 S14090405x Horsham.  Stan Lawson 91, with WW2 ammo and battle wreckage -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 250214 S14090405x Horsham. Stan Lawson 91, with WW2 ammo and battle wreckage -photo by Steve Cobb

A man who remembers a war event in 1941 may have solved the mystery of how a cannon shell became embedded in an Oak Tree in Cowfold.

Lee Maguire, 43, a landscaper from Millthorpe Road, Horsham, discovered a cannon shell embedded in an oak tree in Bolney Road in January.

The County Times reported on the discovery on February 13.

Now Stan Lawson, 91, of Lambs Farm Road, Roffey, believes he may have solved the mystery of how the shell came to be there.

Stan said when he was 17 he was doing some gardening at a property in Summers Place, Stane Street, Billingshurst, when he saw two or three planes shooting at one another.

He said: “I saw aeroplanes doing a dog fight up ahead.

“Two or three came down at once trailing smoke.”

He said he remembered hearing the sound of something falling to the ground so he followed the sound and found a cannon shell stuck in a vegetable patch.

Mr Lawson kept the shell and has compared it to the photo of the shell Mr Maguire found in the tree. He thought they were an exact match.

He said: “I reckon it is part of the same burst that caused a shell to be in the oak tree.”

When Lee first found the shell he said he thought it would have been shot from a German WWII Messerschmitt aircraft.

Stan agreed these are the types of planes he remembers seeing.

 

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