What I really want to know is, was the component faulty, or was it something I did..
having it plugged into a standard ProCell 9v battery on about 5 different occasions, one of the capacitors ..... exploded when I plugged the battery into it
If its just the cap you could use should desolder the remains and either replace it (10uF) or use a decoupling capacitor off the board - depending on how good your surface-mount soldering skills are.
Are you saying nothing had changed between the successful connections and the explosion? On the occasions it did not explode (I can't believe I just wrote that) did it work as expected or was it dead?
... did it work as expected or was it dead?