This year is the centenary of the First World War and as today is Remembrance Sunday I thought I should let you know about the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War‘ project. The project aims to piece together the Life Stories of over 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform and worked on the home front during the First World War in order to create a permanent record of all the people who made a contribution to the First World War.
The project has created a webpage entry or ‘life story’ page for every person who enlisted. The initial details are derived from such things as service and medal records. There are a number of ways in which individuals can participate in the project.
Firstly you can visit the website, search for family members and click on names to ‘remember them’ and share this with others through social media sites if you wish.
You can also register, for free, as a member, which then allows you to upload more information about the people you find. This can include photos, documents and even your own oral histories. The IWM is however, very keen to ensure that the information provided is reliable and robust. Therefore you cannot insert any fact without supporting evidence, although this can include things like family letters.
Finally you can subscribe for a fee, in order to be able to access additional content and create your own web communities on the site.
Anyone can contribute to these sites so I hope some of you will visit and look for your own family members. I have started to contribute to the life story of my maternal grandfather, Victor Callus, for whom there is a lot of available information. I also have information that can be added to those of his brothers, Harry and Arthur, but have less detail on Charles and Andrew. This family was very fortunate in having 5 brothers who went to war and who all came home.
With respect to my paternal McMellon line I have scant information but perhaps others will have more.
We will remember them.