EVENTS took place in August to mark 100 years since the start of the battle of Passchendaele.

Ahead of a service at Tyne Cot military cemetery near Ypres, where thousands of British and Commonwealth dead are buried, the Duke of Cambridge said he had become emotional while paying tribute to those killed.

The Prince of Wales later spoke of the “courage and bravery” of British soldiers killed at Passchendaele as he led commemorations at Tyne Cot. A century after thousands of British and Commonwealth troops went “over the top”, Charles, William, Kate and Prime Minister Theresa May joined the King and Queen of Belgium and 4,000 descendants of those who fought.

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In his address, Charles said: “We remember it not only for the rain that fell, the mud that weighed down the living and swallowed the dead, but also for the courage and bravery of the men who fought here.”

THE Duke of Edinburgh retired from official royal engagements in his own inimitable style by joking with Royal Marines they should be “locked up” for their madcap fundraising efforts.

As a former Royal Navy officer Philip’s last public solo event, after more than 65 years championing his own causes and charities, fittingly featured men from the Royal Marines, an integral part of the Navy.

He has carried out 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

IN the North-East, what was thought to be a sinkhole appeared in Bishop Auckland.

The hole, at least three metres deep, could be seen outside the Baby & Toddler Kingdom shop in Newgate Street.

Police and fire services cordoned off the scene, as an extra engine arrived from the fire brigade’s rapid response unit.

Durham County Council’s structural engineer also assessed the hole.

Ebony Leach, owner of Baby & Toddler Kingdom, said she was shocked.

"It's just a bit scary, especially as the same thing happened to Mothercare when it was on this street years ago," she said.

"The officials are just down in the cellar now making sure everything is safe.

"Luckily all the prams on order are all safe."

ALSO, that month, a community said farewell to Anne Ross Teasdale, a devoted mother-of-two who lost her battle after fighting a long illness.

Mrs Teasdale’s coffin was carried to St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Bishop Auckland by a horse drawn cart where she could experience one last ride down the roads she loved.

The 35-year-old's death hit the travelling community hard as hundreds of mourners gathered to pay tribute to the dedicated mother.

Mrs Teasdale's cousin Andrew Dowd described her as a “lovely lass” who had a heart of a lion and would do anything to help anyone in need.

MEANWHILE, a bin wagon crashed into the front wall of a family home before ending up in their garden.

Home owner, Simon Cudworth, a father-of-two, awoke to four loud bangs before opening his curtains to find the lorry on his property.

The 17-tonne vehicle rolled down Moorside Crescent, Fishburn, after the driver left the cabin to go and put a sticker on a neighbouring bin.

“I’m in shock to be honest,” Mr Cudworth said. “Apparently the handbrake wasn’t put on and the driver got out to put a contaminated sticker on a recycling bin.

“He tried to chase after it but he couldn’t get to it quick enough.”

Four cars, a garden wall, a public footpath and a telegraph pole were damaged.

Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “Thankfully, as far as we are aware, no-one sustained any serious injuries but we will, of course, be carrying out an investigation into the incident.

“We are sorry for any damage caused."

A grandmother who had been deported was reunited with her family for the first time in almost seven months.

Irene Clennell, 53, of Ouston, near Chester-le-Street, was previously given indefinite leave to stay but had fallen foul of immigration law due to lengthy periods in her homeland of Singapore.

Mrs Clennell, who had been living in Britain for nearly 30 years was put in a Scottish detention centre before being deported back to Singapore in February.

After returning home She said: “I am just so happy to see everyone, to be back with my husband and children and dogs, and know that everything will be okay. It’s a relief."

ALSO, that month, an 11-year-old schoolgirl in Richmond helped her family escape from a house fire started from an unplugged laptop underneath her bed.

The sound of a smoke alarm woke her up, and the youngster found her bedroom filled with smoke.

She immediately woke up her mother and nine-year-old brother ensuring they got out the house before ringing the emergency services.

Adele Kendall from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The fast actions of this young girl in knowing what to do at home in the case of a fire undoubtedly led to the safe escape for the family.

"This highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms and talking about a fire escape plan for every home."

TRIBUTES were paid to one of television’s most fondly remembered television actors, Robert Hardy, who brought All Creatures Great and Small character Siegfried Farnon to life.

Hardy, who played the Thirsk-based vet in one of television’s most enduring family TV shows, died at the age of 91. He visited North Yorkshire last year for an emotional reunion of the cast of the show for a centenary celebration of the birth of James Herriot author Alf Wight.

FINALLY, a three-metre-high bronze statue caused controversy on the North York Moors.

The statue, which shows a seated man, was created by artist Sean Henry and put on display in Castleston Rigg, where it was a big hit with visitors.

The figure, which locals have likened to Jeremy Corbyn, is due to remain in place for the next five years.

It proved controversial on social media, and one commentator complained: "It's another example of the despoliation of the natural beauty of the countryside by the 'arty farty' brigade."