- 1914-1923 (Creation)
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5500 boxes and files
This series consists of war diaries for British and colonial units serving in theatres of operations between 1914 and 1922, including Russia, at home, and in the colonies, and British military missions, and Armies of Occupation between 1919 and 1922. 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.
For researchers and family historians, the war diaries contain a wealth of information of far greater interest than the army could ever have predicted. They provide unrivalled insight into daily events on the front line, and are full of fascinating detail about the decisions that were made and the activities that resulted from them. War diaries are still kept by the armed services to this day, and historical war diaries such as these are still referred to.
The war diaries include details of the unit’s activities, often on a daily basis. While not personal diaries, they do often refer to individuals and in some cases offer personal insights into life (and inevitably death) on the front line.
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The NA have published the unit war diaries for the cavalry divisions and a number of infantry divisions online (catalogue references WO 95/1096 to WO 95/1226, and WO 95/1227 to WO 95/3154 inclusive). They cover the entire period of the units’ involvement in the war, from their arrival on the front to their departure at the end of the war.
More diaries of teh WO95 series is being digitised, conserved, sorted and itemised.
Available in digital format unless otherwise stated
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As many maps included in these diaries and certain war diaries containing particularly confidential material were extracted it is thought that these reasons account for the absence of some appendices referred to on the covers of many diaries.
Maps extracted from these diaries are now in WO 153
Extracted war diaries with especially confidential material were put into WO 154
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- British Army (Creator)