The database War Memorials Online aims at presenting a digital resource for finding war memorials in the United Kingdom, supported by the War Memorials Trust. This database contains currently some 40,000 memorials. The general public is invited to point out memorials not yet included and to report on the condition of memorials. You can use a keyword search and a location search for finding memorials. You can set filters for their condition and for the conflict commemorated. For the First World War well over 10,000 memorials are currently included. The results appear in a zoomable map. The status, type, location, setting, description and lettering are noted in brief statements, as are the conflict(s) commemorated and further information.
The website of the project Tracing the Belgian refugees has been created by the University of Leeds in partnership with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and University College London. The project aims at creating a database concerning Belgian refugees who came during the First World War to the United Kingdom. Anyone can contribute information about refugees and their lives in exile. The database is supported by a blog, and there are also scholarly events on the research concerning the Belgian refugees. The database has four main fields: name, UK address, date of arrival and date of departure. You can use a general search field or add a new record to the database. The website can only be viewed in English.
The project is associated with the Online Centre for Research on Belgian Refugees.
The digital collection Crew Lists of the British Merchant Navy – 1915 has been created by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Volunteers transcribed in a crowdsourcing project 750,000 names in some 39,000 crew lists. Some of the lists are held by the National Archives in Kew, their lists have not been digitized for this website. You can search for crew members (first name, surname, rank, vessel and birth place) and for vessels (vessel name and official number). The lists are formally crew agreements, official contracts. Women, too, served on merchant ships. The lists are also an important resource for family history and economic history. The page About provides background information, and you can benefit from the Frequently Asked Questions, too.
The digital World War I British press photograph collection is a project of the University of British Columbia Library. In the 1930’s the British consulate in Seattle gave the University of British Columbia some 6,000 photographic prints. The originals are kept at the Imperial War Museums. During the First World War the Photographic Section of the Ministry of Information and other governmental agencies released photographs for use by the British press. In most cases the names of the photographers are not given. The digital collection contains nearly 3,700 photographs showing in particular the ordinary soldiers, but also for example (foreign) commanders, aristocracy, weapons and training.
The filters for selecting particular items do not work as expected, but in the general advanced search mode of the digital collections of UBC Library you can preset the collection and add search fields at will. You can set the order of presentation, and choose for a list view, thumbnail or detailed view. A large number of photographs (1,233) was taken in France, but other countries are to be found as well.
The digital collection First World War: Royal Flying Corps is part of the digitized Special Collections at Wichita State University, Fairmont, KS. This digital collection contains papers from the English brigade general R.M. Groves, notes about the RFC, two albums with aerial photographs showing the region in Flanders around Messines and Passchendaele before and after the battles in 1917, and aerial photographs with a report on a propaganda raid on Vienna on August 9, 1918 led by the Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. In the accompanying finding aid the materials (three boxes) are concisely described. You can browse this collection, use the free text field search or the advanced search mode.
Wichita State University has also a small general First World War collection, a collection on operations and intelligence of the British First and Second Armies, and twenty letters from British soldiers serving at different fronts.
The portal WW1 Centenary University of Oxford has been created by the University of Oxford to offer an easy point of access to its activities and resources concerning the centenary commemorations of the First World War. There are four main sections on the portal, for peoples, places, Oxford First World War resources, and videos and podcasts. The section People shows letters from undergraduates and staff at Oxford, among them J.R.R. Tolkien. The section Places looks at several colleges, at Oxford University Press, Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps, the role of the Morris factory at Cowley, Port Meadow which became the training camp of the Royal Flying Corps, and Didcot, the Central Ordnance Depot.
In the section WW1 Oxford Resources you can find research projects, some of them well-known, for example the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and the contributions of Oxford to the digital portal Europeana 1914-1918. The digital collection Oxford at War 1914-1918 is a crowdsourcing project to collect stories, images and documents. The Bodleian Libraries are the main force in the Oxford World War I Centenary Programme to preserve and digitize materials. To all these riches one can add the WW1 Primary Resources Guide of the Bodleian.
The digital collection British Soldier’s Wills is a project of the UK government in which some 280,000 soldier’s wills between 1850 and 1996 have been digitized. These wills are part of a general database for probate search in the United Kingdom. The Original wills are kept by Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). In the simple search mode you can search for name and year of death. The advance search mode adds the possibilty to search also for first names, the day and month of death, and regimental number. You have to register to view the digitized wills, but you can search without registration. The interface of this database is in English.
The digital collection Three Pilots – One War is the fruit of a partnership between the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (Berlin-Gatow), the Royal Air Force Museum (London) and the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget. You can follow the First World War through the letters of three pilots, the Frenchman Jean Chaput, the Englishman Bernard Rice – who had served earlier as a messenger – and the German Peter Falkenstein. The letters are published here in day-to-day order exactly 100 years after they were written. Historical comments accompany each letter. The three museums will organize exhibitions between 2014 and 2019 to highlight aspects of the aircraft warfare during the First World War. You can view this collection in English, French and German.
The digitized collection of the Fairbank Papers is part of the Cambridge Digital Library. (Harold Arthur) Thomas Fairbank was born in 1876. He became the first English orthopaedic surgeon working at Charing Cross Hospital in London. In 1914 he was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served in Flanders (Ypres, Loos), France and Macedonia, and he advised also the British Salonika Force. The Fairbank Papers (GB0012 Add 10082/1 to 100082/10) consist of diaries, photographic albums and glass plate negatives. His diaries and photographs show the horrors of the First World War, but there was also space for moments of recreation, playing in pantomimes.
The virtual exhibition Jutland 1916 accompanies an exhibition starting in 2016 of the National Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The core of the small virtual exhibition to commemorate the naval battle of Jutland on May 31-June 1, 1916 is an interactive map which you can tune to focus on sailors, ships, places or memorials. You can also search directly using the free text search. The virtual exhibition contains a number of videos and some image galleries. There is also some background information and a concise bibliography about the events in 1916, their impact and context.