Latest update This site was created in November 2018. In its first three days it saw over 240,000 visits, and to date has had over one million visitors. Read more about how it was created and its subsequent success.
Previously I posted an appeal for additional funds to cover hosting costs and I am hugely grateful to those who donated. If you want to contribute to the ongoing running of the site, I am of course happy to take donations towards the cost!
Whilst this personal project started simply as an experiment to explore the local legacy of the First World War, but at a global scale, it has struck me that it is much more than that. At the heart of it is the legacy of those who died in the conflict, and especially the scale of the imapct that that would have had on their local communities, it would also never have been possible without the significant legacy created by those who remained, from the families who sent in photographs of their loved ones and which formed the Imperial War Museum's founding Bond of Sacrifice Collection, through the people who diligently compiled official records in the early 1920s and which formed the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's records, right up to the modern-day professionals, volounteers and individuals who have shaped these records, shared them, and also significantly increased and enriched them, especially under the guise of First World War Centenary projects like Lives of the First World War
Data and Sources
This project currently contains records for over one million men and women who died whilst serving in the First World War, with over 600,000 locations worldwide, tens of thousands of images, cemeteries, war memorials and much more. It simply wouldn't exist without the core assets that it draws on, enriched by additional information from and links to countless further sources.
Core data sources - personal records and images
Lives of the First World War - IWM's unique project enabling everyone to share their information, stories and images to compile Life Stories "on nearly 8 million men and women who served in uniform and worked on the home front".
Commonwealth War Graves Commission - a unique online collection of the details of every serviceman or woman. Many of the locations here are extracted from what they call the 'Additional information' field, which typically contains text such as "Son of Samuel and Sarah Morley, of Derby; husband of F. M. Morley, of 113, Peel St., Ashbourne Rd., Derby.". Note that this information was collected sevral years after the end of the war and it does not necessarily represent an address that the person had lived at.
Imperial War Museums Collections - one of the richest collections of First World War objects and images, most notably in this context the Bond of Sacrifice Collection and the Women's War Work Collection, togther comprising images of nearly 20,000 individuals who served
Core data sources - war memorials
War Memorial Register - another unique record set from the Imperial War Museum, comprising records of over 78,000 memorials in the British Isles, together with listings of over one million names that appear on them.
New South Wales War Memorials Register - The register includes over 3,500 memorials in total, with over 2,000 relating to the First World War. Each record has additional information and most have images. Many include lists of those commemorated
With specific regards to the portrait images, these are primarliy, but not exclusively, from one of three sources - the incredible Bond of Sacrifice Collection, the Women's War Work Collection (both Imperial War Museums), or uploaded by volunteers and individuals to the Lives of the First World War site (which itself is run by IWM). I am grateful to them for making all these available under a non-commercial license. As an example of an additional image source, the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum has provided over 2,000 portraits under an open license.
for mobile-friendly interactive maps.
Contributing records, reporting errors
The data currently presented has all been extracted from official records or from user contributions to the Lives of the First World War site. I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to add further details to find the Life Story of the person and add details there, which can then in future be added to this site
The inherrent nature of historic records and using modern automated tools to extract information means there are bound to be issues. I will shortly be adding a 'report error' link to each record that can be used to flag an issue and will be queued up ready to be investigated and fixed. I'm afraid as this is a personal project created in my own time, I cannot respond to individual requests right now.