First World War

Explore our collection of First World War records

We hold the official UK government records of the First World War, including a vast collection of letters, diaries, maps and photographs.

We will be marking the centenary of the war with an extensive programme, spanning a five-year period between 2014 and 2019.

If you want to explore our First World War records and are new to researching at The National Archives, you can start your research here or chat to one of our reader advisors online.

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Unit war diaries

We've published more digitised unit war diaries on Discovery.

Help us tag our war diaries

Operation War Diary is an exciting new crowdsourcing project – help us to unlock the data in our war diaries.

Find out more about crowdsourcing and Operation War Diary or simply go to the website and start tagging.

Fighting Talk

First World War telecommunications

Discover our latest project in association with BT Archives, looking at conflict as a catalyst for technological innovation.

Nationwide centenary activity

First World War centenary events will be taking place across the UK over the next four years.

Interactive global First World War map


First World War nurses

From the beginning of the First World War, a range of women volunteered as nurses working close to the front line. Read their stories, touching, funny, and harrowing by turns.

Podcasts and videos

Use our podcasts and videos to help you explore our records of the First World War, from tracing battalions of the British Army to the Women’s Land Army.


Join us on our blog to read and discuss various themes around the First World War.

Letters from the First World War

Explore how a group of men from varied backgrounds experienced active service.

Explore ANZAC stories

See first-hand reports of Gallipoli and images from the time and join us as we uncover stories about the Australian and New Zealand contribution to the war effort.