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Research Resources

Here you can find links to resources that will help you discover more about the First World War and to conduct your own research.

BBC History and BBC Schools

A number of resources for researching the First World War can be found on the BBC History and BBC Schools website, from contemporary newspaper accounts to articles written by leading historians.

British Library

By exploring over 500 historical sources from across Europe, the British Library have examined key themes in the history of the First World War, which has resulted in over 50 newly-commissioned articles written by historians.

British Red Cross

Search the British Red Cross for your family’s personnel records and discover what the charity were doing in your local area 100 years ago.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Use the CWGC website to read about key events during the First and Second World Wars and where those who died are commemorated today. You can also visit the CWGC archive, where they collect, manage and preserve materials which document the individuals they commemorate and the cemeteries and memorials they maintain.

Cornwall’s Regimental Museum

Discover the story of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and explore a collection containing over 12,000 items spanning 300 years of history.

Historic England

Historic England have marked the centenary of the end of the First World War by presenting a selection of research projects that shed light on the effects of the period 1914 to 1918 on England.

Imperial War Museums

The IWM is a family of five museums and historic sites covering war and conflict from the First World War to the present day. They offer various research facilities to help you carry out your own investigations.

Media Storehouse

Many of the RIC’s archive images of the First World War can be viewed on Media Storehouse, where you can also order prints. Other topics include agriculture, archaeology, mining, people, places, sports and transport.

The National Archives

The guides on The National Archives website provide a brief introduction to the records of the First World War held at Kew. There is also advice on some of the records you can find in other archives and organisations.

National Army Museum

The NAM has sought to uncover the national and global impact of the First World War and tell the story of people from across the country whose lives were affected by the conflict.

War Memorials Trust

The War Memorials Trust works to ensure that each and every memorial is preserved and the memory of the individuals recorded. Their website offers details on topics such as conservation advice.

British Army Ancestors

British Army Ancestors is an information and photographic archive for British Army soldiers from 1850 – 1920 run by Paul Nixon. The site offers various search facilities to help you carry out your own investigations.

Oxford Database of National Biography

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is a national record of  significant, influential or notorious figures – male and female – who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century. The database comprises of over 60,000 biographies, and 11,000 portraits. Biographies relating to the First World War include figures such as Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener and last surviving tommy, Harry Patch.

Forces War Records

Forces War Records is a leading digital British military records site. Not only does Forces War Records supply individual records of data  but they also to add a huge amount of supplementary data to each record, such as information on a persons regiment, unit, base or ship, the battles they may have fought in and information on medals they may have been awarded.

Hansard Parliamentary Archive

The Hansard site is a database providing digital records of parliamentary debates dating from 1803 to 2005, including those records of parliamentary debates of the First World War.


Ancestry, a family history website, offers access to 1 billion searchable UK family history records. The collection contains, among much else censuses, birth, marriage and death records, passenger lists, the British phone books, and extensive military and parish records for England and Wales. Since the centenary the site has expanded it’s searchable WWI military records.

The Telegraph Online Archive

The Daily Mail Online Archive


Brown, David K., The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906–1922 (London: Caxton Editions, 2003).

Burt, R. A., ‘Minotaur: Before the Battlecruiser’: Warship (London: Conway Maritime Press, 1987).

Grieves, Keith, The Politics of Manpower, 1914–18 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985).

Hudson, John, Christmas 1914: The First World War at Home and Abroad (Stroud: History Press, 2014).

Elliot, Rosemary, ‘An Early Experiment in National Identity Cards: The Battle Over Registration in the First World War’, Twentieth Century British History, 17 (2006), pp. 145–176.

Pattinson, Juliette, ‘‘Shirkers’, ‘Scrimjacks’ and ‘Scrimshanks’?: British Civilian Masculinity and Reserved Occupations, 1914–45’, Gender & History, 28.3 (2016).<>