Remembered: 12 war heroes of Goathland

Children from Goathland Primary School have planted 12 English Oak Trees to help tell the story of the men of the village who lost their lives in WWI.
Children from Goathland Primary School have planted 12 English Oak Trees to help tell the story of the men of the village who lost their lives in WWI.

Children from Goathland Primary School have planted 12 English oak trees to help tell the story of the men of the village who lost their lives in World War One.

The trees, along with 12 memorial sculptures, will form the central feature of a new Centenary Walk through the village to be officially launched later this year.

The 12 men of Goathland served in some of the most notorious theatres of war between 1914 and 1918, including the Somme, Gallipoli and the English Channel.

They are remembered at Goathland’s war memorial and in St Mary’s Church, which also houses a memorial to the fallen.

Eleven of the servicemen died either in battle or later of their wounds. The 12th man however, Thomas Readman, was a railway worker who was ordered to France in March 1917 to help lay supply lines.

Within a month he had been taken ill and died unexpectedly, leaving a widow, Hannah was subsequently employed as a porter at Goathland station, but was forced to give up her job when the war ended.

The 12 men are:

Cockerill, Fred – son of Mr and Mrs Albert Cockerill. Ivy Cottages, Green End, Goathland. Died 14 May 1917, aged 23. Brother Thomas Cockerill won the Military Medal in the same conflict.

Harrison, Godfrey – Husband of Ada Ethel Harrison, son of Watson and Mary Harrison. Mallyan Lodge, Goathland. Died 29 September 1915, aged 38.

Readman, Thomas – Lengthman, North-Eastern Temporary Special Construction Unit, Civilian Railway Companies. Died 2 April 1917, aged 40. Buried at Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery, France.

Smailes, George – Second Lieutenant, West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s Own). Died 22 October 1916, aged 22. Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Amiens, France.

Sleightholm, Robert – Apprentice on SS Dunrobin (cargo ship). Son of Lavinia Sleightholm (nee Oxley) and James Sleightholm of Rose Cottage, Goathland. Died 24 November 1917, aged 18, as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine. Remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

Pybus, George – Son of George and Harriet Pybus of Hollin Garth Farm, Goathland (formerly of 117 Westgate Pickering). Died 29 September 1918, aged 18.

Pennock, Edwin/Edward – Son of Neswell and Sarah Pennock, Lins Farm, Beck Hole. Died 29 September 1916, aged 32.

Rymer, Arthur – Son of Mr and Mrs James Rymer, Church Cottages/Prudom House, Goathland. Died 9 October 1917, aged 20.

Ward, John – Son of Mary Ann Ward (widow) Hawthorn Hill, Goathland. Died 30 April 1916, aged 20.

Whiteley, Sydney – Yorkshire Regiment. Son of William and Emily Whiteley of The Kennels, Goathland. Died at home, 11 November 1919, aged 22. Interred St Marys Church, Birdsall, Malton.

Widdowson, Edwin – Husband of Georgina Widdowson (married at Presbyterian Church South Shields 15.4.1916), Hill Crest, Goathland. Died 25 January 1918, aged 39. Interred Leeds Cemetery.

Yeoman Light, John – Husband of Edith Richardson of Waites House, Goathland. Formerly of Ugthorpe. Father to Dorothy Light (born 1915). Died 14 April 1918, aged 31.

It is stories such as this that the project team wish to uncover. Anyone who thinks they may have a link to the men can contact enquiries@northyorkmoorstrust.uk – it is hoped that as many family members as possible can attend the official launch of the Centenary Walk later this year.