From nurses and doctors to ambulance drivers and soldiers, the bravery of millions of people who served during World War I is to be immortalised in a permanent digital memorial.
Lives of the First World War will use information gleaned from the public over the next five years to piece together the life stories of those who served abroad and on the home front.
The project, run by Imperial War Museums (IWM) and DC Thomson Family History, will launch today when the records of more than 4.5 million men and 40,000 women who served with the British Army overseas will become available to view.
Stories already online include those of Sister Martha Aitken, who served in the Territorial Force Nursing Service in France and Flanders, and Thomas William Stratford, who fought in China and Gallipoli before being wounded in France and discharged.
The museum is still looking for more detail about their lives, and are also appealing for help in piecing together the stories of many other people in the project who are still just names.
Luke Smith, IWM’s digital lead for the First World War Centenary said: “Whether they choose to simply remember someone online, upload a picture from their family album or share a story passed down through generations, everyone can contribute.
“We need the public to help us piece together over eight million life stories, so that we can remember these people now and in the future.”
It is hoped the site will grow to become a permanent memorial, and will be maintained by the museum beyond the four-year centenary period as a research tool for future generations.
Historian Dan Snow, an ambassador of the project, said the site would become “one of the most extraordinary war memorials ever”.
He added: “IWM has created Lives of the First World War and is now handing it over to us, the public.
“We need to make it happen by uploading information about our First World War ancestors, piecing together their stories, remembering them and saving this knowledge for future generations.”
For more information, and to contribute visit www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org