Help collect soldiers’ experiences of WWI in their own words

Letters to his fiancee from Major General Lindsay Merritt Inglis
Letters to his fiancee from Major General Lindsay Merritt Inglis

With the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, lots of people are trying to understand the experiences of their grandparents or great-grandparents generation during the war, but it can be hard to find personal diaries, letters, photos and memoirs created by soldiers in WWI. Thanks to everyone who’s put historical documents online, you can make a meaningful contribution to the remembrance of the war. Help everyone understand the experience of soldiers in different  battalions in the First World War by recovering an original soldier’s voice and linking it to their unit so it can be found by others. (Here’s an example page for the 3rd (Auckland) Mounted Rifles, New Zealand.)

Have you got a few free minutes to take on a small research challenge?

Getting started is easy:

  1. Take one of the diaries, letters and memoirs listed on the Collaborative Collections wiki, and
  2. Match its author with a specific regiment or battalion.
  3. Send in the results via this form (also below) or edit the wiki directly.

You can get a sense of the battalions that need records by seeing which units have red names on these pages:

If you’ve never researched a WWI soldier before, some useful sites are listed at Researching World War One records.

 CENDARIThis project is part of a Transnational Research Fellowship with the CENDARI project at Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room Hub. Contact Mia Ridge with any questions.
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