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 World War 1



Australia War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.

The Australian War Memorial will be commemorating the centenary of the First World War through a major redevelopment of its First World War galleries and a variety of new public programs and events.

British Library World War One

The British Library World War One resource, which examines key themes in the history of World War One is supported by over 500 historical sources from across Europe. Explore a wealth of original source material, over 50 newly-commissioned articles written by historians, teachers' notes and more to discover how war affected people on different sides of the conflict. Collection items featured on this site have been contributed by Europeana 1914-18 institutions.


Resources 2

We provide information over four pages on just some of the many resources available to help you with your WW1 Centenary Project and research.

If you know of any resources not listed please email us at places@oneplacestudy.org

Centenary News

Centenary News has been launched to provide news and information about the WW1 Centenary. It is staffed mainly by volunteers and aims to provide independent, impartial and international coverage. It contains news items, videos, details of events, educational resources, and links to articles and blogs. The site also includes a summary of organisations who are involved with the study of the First World War, or who are planning Centenary events.


1914.org highlights centenary events and resources from across the globe.

Europeana 1914-1918

Europeana 1914-1918 mixes resources from libraries and archives across the globe with memories and memorabilia from families throughout Europe. Users are able to explore stories, films and historical material about WW1 and contribute their own family history. The British Library has contributed 10,000 items.

Operation War Diary

Operation War Diary brings together original WW1 documents from The National Archives, the historical expertise of IWM and the power of the Zooniverse community. It will create new ‘Citizen Historians'. Working together they will make previously inaccessible information available to academics, researchers and family historians worldwide, leaving a lasting legacy for the WW1 centenary.

Data gathered through Operation War Diary will be used: to enrich The National Archives' catalogue descriptions for the unit war diaries; to provide evidence about the experience of named individuals in IWM's Lives of the First World War project; and, to present academics with large amounts of accurate data to help them gain a better understanding of how the war was fought.

The National Archives have been digitising the unit war diaries making individual pages available free of charge on the Zooniverse platform for this project. All of the data produced by Operation War Diary will eventually be available to everyone free of charge - a lasting legacy and a rich and valuable introduction to the world of the War Diaries.

Wales Remembers

Wales Remembers provides news, events and signposting information for the commemoration of the centenary in Wales

If you’re planning a commemorative event for a

place within your study area, let them (and us!) know.

The following overview appears on the Forces War Records website

World War I (WWI), which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918.

It involved all the world's great powers,which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally centred around the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). These alliances both reorganised (Italy fought for the Allies), and expanded as more nations entered the war.

Ultimately more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history. More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the sixth deadliest conflict in world history, subsequently paving the way for various political changes such as revolutions in the nations involved.

Long-term causes of the war included the imperialistic foreign policies of the great powers of Europe, including the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, France, and Italy. The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by a Yugoslav nationalist was the proximate trigger of the war. It resulted in a Habsburg ultimatum against the Kingdom of Serbia. Several alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked, so within weeks the major powers were at war; via their colonies, the conflict soon spread around the world.


A very brief overview of WW1

WW1 / Centenary


World War One At Home reveals how the momentous events of the war affected life on the Home Front. Around 1400 stories will be broadcast throughout 2014 and beyond, on BBC local and national radio and television, and online.

Each World War One At Home story focuses on a place – airfields, hospitals, schools, churches, town squares, theatres, high streets – to show how events there influenced a global conflict - how the production lines of the British factories kept the front lines supplied, how innovations in technology revolutionised the war effort, and the impact of enemy offensives changed the face of Britain’s coastlines and cities.

World War One At Home launched in February 2014, with the release of 223 stories across radio, TV and online. There will be similar releases in June, August and November, bringing the total stories on the site to over 1,000, with many more to be published in 2015 and beyond.

Veterans Affairs Canada

The Veterans Affairs Canada section of the Government of Canada website contains lots of information on WW1 including timelines, battle and campaign histories, photos and film clips etc.

Canadians contributed in many ways to their country's great efforts in the First World War. The struggle involved virtually the whole country and made enormous demands on the Canadian people, whether they were involved in the actual fighting or remained on the home front to work in industry or farming to support the war effort.

10 worst misconceptions

George Dvorsky says WW1 was a conflict that still rouses considerable debate and controversy and that it's also a war that's shrouded in many myths and misconceptions - read about ten misconceptions that he considers are among the worst.

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since Australia’s involvement in WW1. The Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians - a war which helped define Australia as a people and as a nation.

Anzac Centenary

“The young Anzacs of the First World War ran headlong into the horrors of a war marked by its brutality and indiscriminate violence. Australians had fought in overseas conflicts before: in the Sudan, during the Boxer Rebellion and in the Boer War. However, this was the first practical military experience for Australia as a newly federated nation. It was the first time Western Australians stood alongside those from Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory — not as representatives of disparate British colonies, but together, as Australians.

The human loss experienced by Australia was devastating. Over the duration of the war, nearly 60,000 young Australians lost their lives in a rapidly escalating, all-consuming and bloody war. With a population of less than five million at the time, a significant number of Australia’s youth would never return home, creating a deeply traumatic experience for the emerging Australian nation.

Amidst the loss and the grief, Australians began to learn of the bravery and courage demonstrated by the Diggers, and the amazing stories of sacrifice, leadership and mateship during what later became known as the Gallipoli campaign, began to emerge. It was from these inspirational Australian Diggers that the Anzac spirit was born.”

Source: How Australia may commemorate the Anzac Centenary, The National Commission on the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary, March 2011

Discovering Anzacs

The National Archives of Australia and Archives New Zealand are working together to build a new website, Discovering Anzacs. This website will have a unique profile of every Anzac who enlisted in World War I, linked to their service record. Members of the public can help tell the story of Australia and New Zealand during the war by building on profiles and adding family stories, photos or service details. The Discovering Anzacs website will be launched mid-July.

The Anzac Centenary will remember not only the original Anzacs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but commemorate more than a century of service by Australian servicemen and women. See ‘Discovering Anzacs’ below.

BBC World War One

The Imperial War Museum has provided the BBC with unique access to their archives and experts, which has uncovered a wealth of stories, many of which have never been told before, as well as astounding photography, sound and film footage.

Academics and historical experts supported by the Arts Humanities and Research Council have provided time and expertise to BBC journalists and researchers, giving historical context, research leads and enabling access to local historical museums, organisations and specialists, who have also generously provided assets and valuable insight from their own collections.

WW1 / Centenary


Canada 150

In 2017 Canada intends marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation in a big way. On the road to 2017, Canadians will commemorate a number of nation-building milestones, including, in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1 and the 75th anniversary of the start of WW2; and in 2015, the 50th birthday of its national flag to name just a few. Each of these anniversaries represents an opportunity to celebrate the events that have shaped Canada’s history and made Canada what it is today.

When Britain declared war in August 1914, Canada, as a British Dominion, was also at war.

By the end of WW1, more than 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders had served, while over 66,000 lost their lives and more than 170,000 were wounded. This was an enormous contribution from a population of less than 8 million in 1914. More than seven percent of the total population of Canada was in uniform at some point during the conflict, and hundreds of thousands of other Canadians worked on the home front in support of the war effort.

The Great War website is packed full of helpful information, including guides to battlefields, medals and much more. Its Centenary pages provide links to many websites around the world.

Great War - Centenary

WW1 / Centenary



Great War Forum

The Great War Forum  covers many subjects including centenary projects and issues, researching individual servicemen, units and formations, war at sea, war in the air, paraphernalia of war, women in the war, battles, battlefields, cemeteries and memorials, home front etc.

Image Libraries

Wellcome Images is a medical picture library and a leading source of images on medicine and its history. Pictures cover a period stretching from ancient civilisations to modern day photography. There are over 200 WW1 images. The image above is of Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses.

Wellcome Images

Library of Congress

Lives of the First World War

Lives of the First World War launched on 12 May 2014. It aims to bring material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place. IWM is looking for help in exploring those documents, linking them together and to telling the stories of men and women from Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform and worked on the home front. Photos and images of other memorabilia can be uploaded to a person's life story page to share them with the world.

The platform is provided by D C Thompson, the name behind Findmypast and Genes Reunited.

It’s free to become a ‘Member’ - Members can search, Remember and edit Life Stories, and view other users' contributions.

Of particular interest to One-Placers is the Communities feature (see example at top of next column). However, to create and manage Communities, you first have to become a ‘Friend’ of Lives of the First World War. This costs £5 a month, or £50 a year - over the duration of the centenary celebrations you could be paying out £250 or more! There is an added benefit of becoming a ‘Friend’ - you get access to premium records provided by Findmypast . If you already have a subscription with them, you’ll end up paying twice!

Connecting individuals to their primary records such as parish registers and census returns, then adding war records etc., is quite a slow and tedious process as you also have to confirm your evidence as you go. Shouldn’t be too bad if you only have a few names on your WW1 memorial, but will be quite a prolonged task if you have a parish where many servicemen and women lost their lives.

New Zealand WW100

WW1 had a seismic impact on New Zealand society. Ten percent of their then population of one million served overseas, of which more than 18,000 died and over 40,000 were wounded. Nearly every New Zealand family was affected.

The New Zealand Government has developed the WW100 programme to mark the First World War centenary from 2014 to 2018.

 Chronicling America


The Gazette is famous for being the bearer of official War Office and Ministry of Defence events, including listing those 'Mentioned in Despatches' (MIDs), where notable individuals are recognised for their activities in the theatre of war. An individual was said to be 'gazetted' when their name reached the pages of The Gazette.

During WW1, existing medals for bravery were extended to reflect the changing nature of conflict. The Military Cross (MC) was created in December 1914, followed in March 1916 by the creation of the Military Medal (MM). The Royal Warrants instituting both awards appeared in The Gazette and by 1920 over 120,000 MMs and 40,000 MCs had been ‘gazetted’.

Available through Forces War Records:

The Gazette

The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) contains catalogue records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division. They consist of over 14 million items and include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings.

The WW1 Posters subset of the PPOC collection comprises around 1,900 posters and includes American, Australian, Austrian, British, Canadian, French, German, Italian and other posters supporting the war effort.

Example photograph from PPOC collections

Example poster from PPOC collections

 British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has over 40,000 ‘issues’ of archived newspapers online from 1914 to 1918. A one month subscription costs £9.95 with no page limit. New titles are being added. See latest additions (last 30 days).

Chronicling America provides access to historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages through an internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information. The rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.

Welsh Newspapers Online is a free online resource from the National Library of Wales which provides access to historic Wlelsh newspapers 1804-1919. As at 16 May 2014, 6.8 million articles and 630,000 pages are available to search.

 Welsh Newspapers Online

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