A SPECIAL exhibition to commemorate the First World War has opened at Beck Isle Museum in Pickering.

Volunteers have put together nine cabinets of displays based on Pickering and its residents during the period.

Museum trustee Gordon Clitheroe said the museum had been the home of local war hero Dr John Findon Murphy who won a Military Cross during the conflict.

"He took part in a number of events during the war which he survived and was later awarded the MC," he added,

"During the war there was also a Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital in Hallgarth, where Nora Kirk, the wife of Dr Kirk , who set up York Castle Museum, was the matron in charge."

Mr Clitheroe said there were a number of special items including Zeppelin photographs and marker.

"There are many photographs of Pickering people, both in uniform and civilian dress from the era," he added.

"We also have pictures of soldiers playing bowls at the castle as part of their recuperation."

Mr Clitheroe said the exhibition was part of a three year project in which the museum aimed to research those from Pickering who were involved in the war.

"Next year we will be putting together a book looking at the history of Pickering residents during that period and the role they played," he added.

"We are also in the process of creating an educational World War One box with regard specifically to Pickering, to keep in our school activities room for the use of schools visiting Beck Isle Museum. The box will contain biographies of Dr Murphy and Mrs Kirk along with artefacts of the era for the children to handle and examine themselves."

Mr Clitheroe said they were researching material for the book and would welcome contributions from people whose relatives were involved in the war.

"We want to look at Pickering people - those who enrolled, were conscripted, killed and wounded and the ones who came back and how the war had changed them and their lives completely," he added.

Anyone who has any information related to Pickering during the First World War should contact Beck Isle Museum on 01751 473653.