WW-I History | Operation War Diary

The First World War Centenary begins in 2014 and lasts until 2018. Commemorative events are scheduled at many times and places. Diverse groups are coming together to remember the loved ones lost in that terrible war. As you can see in this image, a soldier is taking advantage of a break to sleep. Another is writing. Soldiers were given papers to use as a diary or an intelligence summary. (See second image) There were columns for place, date, hour, summary of the event, and remarks or references. Over 1.5 million pages of war diaries tell the story of the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War. There is a way for each of us ‘citizen historians’ to help enter the contents of those diaries into an electronic database which others can search and use for family history or research purposes. More below the second image.

Whitby High School Battlefields Tour

The Zooniverse organization provides several ‘citizen science’ projects which get help from more than 919,000 people to go through the data of current or past research records. They follow simple directions online to help the researchers process their results. This war diaries project teams Zooniverse, Imperial War Museums, and The National Archives of the UK.

If you are interested and have some time to volunteer, please follow this link to the Operation War Diary page. Browse any of the tabs across the top to explore and get more information. Under the Diaries tab, specific Divisions and Regiments are found if you know that information. Or, go ahead and click the Get Started green button in the center to begin the 10 minute tutorial of directions using an actual diary page.

Don’t worry. You won’t break anything. Many others will also be viewing the same pages. Results are a team effort. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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