Tuesday, 14 January 2014

British Army WW1 war diaries go online

The National Archives at Kew has placed online the first digitised 300,000 pages of 1.5 million images from First World War British Army unit war diaries, for both Flanders and France. The collections have been sourced from the War Office collection catalogued as WO95. To search the diaries visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/war-diaries-ww1.htm.

At the same time the archive has launched a crowdsourcing project called Operation War Diary (www.operationwardiary.org), to tie in stories of individuals featured within the actions described within the diaries. A blog post has also been written further describing the initiative at http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/operation-war-diary-archive-needs/.

For further details visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/905.htm.

UPDATE: I can't find a categoric list of which units are included so far, but I have found the following at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war/centenary-unit-war-diaries.htm:

This first batch of unit war diaries reveals the real-time account of the first three cavalry (WO 95/1096 to WO 95/1156) and the first seven infantry divisions (WO 95/1227 to WO 95/1670) who were part of the first wave of British army troops deployed in France and Flanders.

The Operation War Diary page does have a section for its crowdsourcing effort which appears to outline the units available so far, though I am not sure if this is a complete listing - see www.operationwardiary.org/#/diaries.


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

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