WHAT DO YOU KNOW?
When researching through the past we are often limited by the amount of information we have. Here at the Great War Diaries we have tried to make life a little easier by allowing you to search based on the information you have. Do you know the regiment you are looking for, or the dates of which battle they were in? Start searching now
BATTLES & ACTIONS
Throughout the Great War, there were numerous battles with various regiments taking part in each. Find out who was at each battle
SEARCH BY REGIMENT
You can narrow down your Great War Diary search by using the regiment's name to find out more information from the archives
COMING SOON - Transcribed diaries from the Gallipoli Campaign . . .
GREAT WAR DIARIES
If your (Great) Grandfather served in the Great War it is very likely that his unit kept a War Diary. Rather similar to a ship’s log, it recorded in graphic detail the extraordinary day-to-day events during the war; the dramatic actions, triumphs and disasters of his battalion. The British Army’s record keeping was meticulous and most diaries survived. It is therefore possible to reconstruct the events of a hundred years ago. If you know which unit your (Great) Grandfather and his comrades fought in, you can follow their footsteps.
The original diaries are held at the National Archives. They are often full of military jargon and abbreviations that can be quite challenging for the layperson to understand. They were typically handwritten in the trenches, under extremely trying circumstances. The handwriting often deteriorated, making some of the entries quite difficult to read. A typical example is shown on the right in grey. It also shows our transcription.
Great War Diaries is dedicated to accurately transcribing the original material to make it more accessible, easier to read and easier to understand. The unique feature is that, unlike the original diaries, the transcriptions are searchable. For the first time it is possible to search the whole text by keyword; place-names, battles and even individual’s names. The 1914 diaries already have over 1,000,000 transcribed words. 1915 is already well underway. Read more…
Great War Diaries is dedicated to providing a world-class research archive that integrates transcribed war diaries with a digital library of original, definitive published unit histories. We are focused delivering our products purely online, making them accessible at the touch of a finger or a click of a mouse to anyone with an internet connection.
GREAT WAR LIBRARY
Most Regiments wrote detailed histories after the War. Our aim is to create a definitive library of published unit histories and make them available online through the Great War library. The key feature is that the books are searchable documents and therefore become an extra aid to the researcher. When complete this will contain over 100 titles covering most regiments
REGIMENTS, BATTALIONS AND BRIGADES
Nothing was straightforward in the British Army. Many are understandably tripped up by the low-wire entanglement of military jargon. Do you need to understand the difference between a Battalion and a Brigade? If the answer is 'yes' this guide will walk you through the terminology of the British Army.