France to Flanders: British World War One Diaries Go Online

Wounded British soldiers in a trench during World War I. (Library of Congress)

Wounded British soldiers in a trench during World War I. (Library of Congress)

The British National Archives is digitizing 1.5 million pages of unit diaries from World War One. Their effort is twofold: to preserve the original documents that are being worn out after 45 years of public use, and to offer the WWI documents online.

OperationWarDiary.org was developed to enlist “citizen historians” to help with revealing the stories from the Western Front: Working together we will make previously inaccessible information available to academics, researchers and family historians worldwide, leaving a lasting legacy for the centenary of the First World War. 

There’s a 10 minute video to watch if you’re interested with helping to go through the diaries. From France to Flanders, the first batch of diaries gives “the real-time account of the first three cavalry and the first seven infantry divisions who were part of the first wave of British army troops deployed.

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