THE Goathland Centenary Walk, remembering 12 local men who never returned from the First World War, has been officially opened.

The two-mile circular walk was founded as the result of a community project set up after a chance conversation between local residents.

Keith Thompson, chairman of the Goathland Community Hub & Sports Pavilion,said: “Like almost every village in the country, Goathland lost a significant number of its local men in the First World War.

"Shortly after the war had ended, the mother of one of these young men, a lady called Kate Smailes, planted 12 English oak trees to commemorate the 12 men of Goathland village who had never returned.

“Now, 100 years later, we are retelling this poignant tale. This spring, we planted 12 oak saplings, and this new trail takes in both the remaining historic oaks and the 12 new trees.”

Attending the official opening by the Bishop of Whitby, the Right Reverend Paul Ferguson,were the descendants of Kate Smailes herself, along with relatives of several other of the 12 men.

The project was made possible thanks to a grant of £9,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The opening celebration followed nearly three years work and research into the individual stories behind the 12 names.