Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Ancestry releases UK First World War army diaries

Ancestry has released two collections of First World War army diaries for the British Army:

UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920

These war diaries document operations for British and colonial units serving in theatres of operations between 1914 and 1920, including Russia, at home, and in the colonies, as well as British military missions and Armies of Occupation between 1919 and 1920. The diaries contain daily reports on operations, intelligence summaries, and other pertinent material, and they can provide an on-the-spot description of what your ancestor experienced. The range of dates shown for individual items does not mean there is a document inside the file for each day between the two covering dates.

No diaries for the campaign in South West Africa in 1914-1915 are included in this series because no British units participated; operations were conducted under the auspices of the South African armed forces.

Source: First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries. WO 95/1096–3948. The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, England.

UK, WWI War Diaries (Gallipoli and Dardanelles), 1914-1916

You can use this collection of war diaries from the First World War to get a picture of day-to-day life in your ancestor’s unit. The diaries include information on a unit’s movements, where the unit was stationed on a given day, what activities troops were engaged in, and other information, such as embarkation, travel, or casualties.

Source: First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries. WO 95/4263-4359. The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, England.

Ancestry has blogged about the release at

In addition Ancestry has updated two further WW1 collections, by updating their search forms:

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920

Details on the updates to the search forms are available at


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1 comment:

  1. The indexing of these war diaries is appalling which makes them next to impossible to use. You can download the diaries from TNA website or use the Naval and Military Archives website at whio has properly indexed the diaries