Operation War Diary

The Imperial War Museum are currently asking for help ahead of the launch of Lives of the First World War later this year. They need our help exploring a previously untapped resource which could help them to discover and remember the incredible life stories of the men and women who fought in the First World War.

Operation War Diary, a joint project between IWM and The National Archives, has made digital versions of First World War Unit War Diaries from the Western Front available for the first time. They believe that more people were mentioned by name than previously thought.

You can get involved by becoming a Citizen Historian and help classify some of theĀ  1.5 million pages of unit war diaries which cover activity on the Western Front. There are lots of different types of pages full of fascinating details about the people involved and descriptions of their activities.

From the tags that people add they can create a detailed index to the people who appear in these pages and learn more about what they were doing. Please note they are not transcribing every word of the documents.

This is a great project and will open up lots of sources to the family historian and more importantly allow us to find new mentions of our relatives. Eventually all of the data produced by Operation War Diary will be available to everyone free of charge.

The project also has a blog which I’m sure will be revealing lots of interesting facts as they are discovered.

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