First World War Poetry Digital Archive

On the Web

These online resources have been chosen by the First World War Poetry Digital Archive project team from the free MyIntute service. As well as a featured resource you can also find more resources about each subject.

War poets and writers

Edmund Blunden

Edmund Blunden
The Edmund Blunden website, set up by Blunden's family, aims to promote a better understanding of his poetry and prose amongst a modern audience. The site provides a short introduction to Blunden and his work, and gives access to a variety of items relating to his life including: news items concerning Blunden and World War I-related topics; short articles on Blunden's life by his family and others; selected poems; bibliographies; a biography; and selected images of Blunden himself. There is also a short section of links to related websites and a frequently asked questions page. The …
More Edmund Blunden resources…

Vera Brittain

Violets from the Trenches: Selections from the Letters of Roland Leighton and Vera Brittain
Part of a McMasters University presentation about Peace and War in the 20th Century.
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Robert Graves

The Robert Graves Society
The website of the Robert Graves Society (St John's College, Oxford). The object of the Society is to promote interest in, and research on, the life and works of Robert Graves (1895-1985).
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Ivor Gurney

The Ivor Gurney Society
This website gives information about the Society, the life and work of the Gloucester composer-poet Ivor Gurney (1890-1937), and also aims to host a number of scholarly resources, the first of which (an extensive online bibliography) is nearing completion. The society was founded in 1995 to promote interest and scholarship in Gurney.
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David Jones

David Jones Society
The David Jones Society website gives details of the organisation whose aim is to promote the work of this poet and artist. Jones fought on the Western Front in the First World War, and is possibly best known for his long poem 'In Parenthesis', based on his war experiences. Jones was also a talented artist, working in paint, metal and wood among other media. The site gives a brief overview of Jones's career and of the society's activities, as well as tables of contents of the Society's latest journal issue and membership information. Although the website is still under construction,…
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Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen Association
The Wilfred Owen Association (WOA) website provides information on the poet and his life, as well as some details of the association itself. This information is accessed via menus at the side of the main page, under the headings: 'His Life'; 'Virtual Tour'; 'Memorials'; 'His Poetry'; 'Web Links'; and 'WOA'. The biographical section is comprised of a timeline of major events in Owen's life, and photographs of his close family. The 'Virtual Tour' consists of photographs of places where Owen lived and also of relevance to his life as a soldier in the First World War. The poetry sectio…
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Isaac Rosenberg

Focus on Isaac Rosenberg
Focus on Isaac Rosenberg is an online exhibition published by the FamilyRecords.gov.uk consortium (formerly the Family Records Centre). The exhibition highlights documents that have survived in the nation's archives relating to the life and military career of war poet Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1917). Resources include: Rosenberg's birth certificate; related census returns; original poem manuscripts; and his medal and service records. There are also suggestions for further reading, and a selection of related web links. The site is designed to inspire those researching their own ancestor…
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Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship
The Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship website provides information on the organisation founded to celebrate the life and work of this poet and writer. The organisation is as yet fairly small (around 150 members at the time of writing) but fairly active, producing a journal and holding an annual conference as well as talks and other related events. The website gives details on: how to join the Fellowship; the organisation's annual conference; 'Siegfried's journal' (a twice-yearly periodical); and recent and forthcoming events, as well as: photographs relating to Sassoon and the Fellowship;…
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Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas fellowship
This Website provides information about the British poet and essayist Edward Thomas (1878-1917). The site provides a brief biography on Thomas's life and career as an acclaimed writer before he died in action at the Battle of Arras during the First World War. There are extracts posted here of Thomas's prose and poetry. Along with a good links list, there is a bibliography of Thomas's books which are currently in print and of publications about Thomas's work and his era. The site is run by the Edward Thomas Fellowship, which was instituted to increase knowledge and appreciation of t…
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Theme and context

Art and Photography

Art of the First World War
The website gathers together around 110 paintings by 54 painters, from the collections of major history museums around Europe, as part of an exhibition to commemorate the end of the First World War. Created in 1998, the website provides a detailed introduction, a list of artists featured, and a list of partners involved in the exhibition. The exhibition itself is divided into categories such as War declared, the Age of artillery, the Battlefield, Suffering and Death. Each artwork featured is expandable and full details are provided.
More Art and Photography resources…

Central Powers

Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.
This is the Web site of the national organisation responsible for the care and maintenance of German war graves, which was founded in 1919. The site outlines the Commission's international cooperative work to maintain the graves. A grave search engine unfortunately appears to require comprehensive information on a subject before a search is conducted. Subsites here are devoted to dedicated cemeteries in France, Hungary, Poland and Russia. The site outlines the support strategies the Commission uses, including summer work camps for upper primary and secondary students. Students at …
More Central Powers resources…

Commemoration

Remembrance campaign
The Royal British Legion's Remembrance campaign includes 'My Remembrance Day' where you can create a permanent tribute to a loved one, online and in the National Memorial Arboretum.
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Family History

Commonwealth war graves commission
The website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission describes what the commission is and does, and provides a searchable database of the details of those who gave their lives in the Great War and the Second World War. This online "Debt of Honour Register" provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth Forces who died in the First and Second World Wars. The Register is searchable by: Surname; Initial; War; Year of Death (range); Regiment; Force (such as Army, Merchant Navy); Nationality (including Australian, Canadian,…
More Family History resources…

Film

IWM collections : film & video
This website is for the Film and Video Archive at the Imperial War Museum in London which holds some 120 million feet of film and 6,500 hours of video tape. The website enables users to search the film and video database online and to ask enquiries via "MyList". Collections are accessed via headings on the First and Second World Wars, contemporary collections and amateur films. Details are given of listings for the Imperial War Museum cinema in London and access services for commercial and non-commercial users. Details are also given of awards received by the Film and Video archive.
More Film resources…

Gallipoli

Gallipoli 1915 : the drama of the Dardanelles
Part of the Imperial War Museum Web site, this resource focuses on the Gallipoli campaign from April to December of 1915 during the First World War. This effort, which was part of a strategy conceived by Britain and France to break open the Dardanelles and permit a supply route through to Russia while threatening Constantinople, ultimately failed. The battle of Gallipoli resulted in over 300,000 casualties (counting both sides). Information is provided here on the historical background of the campaign, the landscape in which the battle took place and the fateful landings on the Gal…
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Home Front

BBC : history : home front : World War One
This is the main page of the BBC History website's section on life on the home front during World War One. The site offers an overview of the period 1901 to 1918, plus a range of articles on the origins of the War, its social impact (including the effect it had on women, and the importance of propaganda), and various controversial questions that have been raised about it. There is also a section on life in Britain before the War, covering topics such as the 1908 Olympics, antarctic exploration, and the Titanic. The articles are supplemented by image galleries. A link is provided to the…
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Imperial Forces

We were there
The Ministry of Defence launched the We Were There Exhibition in November 2000, and the We Were There companion website uses images, biographies and other information to detail the history and experiences of ethnic minorities from the British Empire and Commonwealth in the British Armed Forces over the past two hundred years. Men and women from all over the British Empire and Commonwealth are included, and while the focus is primarily on the First World War and the Second World War, conflicts from the nineteenth century up until the late twentieth century are also covered. The exhibiti…
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In the News

1914-18: the war of the words : Ben MacIntyre : Times Online
"With diaries, letters home and poems, soldiers in the trenches made it the most literate of conflicts".
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Medical

Gillies archives of plastic surgery
The website of the Gillies archives of plastic surgery based at Queen Mary's hospital, Sidcup, Kent. The site has been set up by the archives' curator, Andrew Bamji. The archives contain information about plastic surgery of the face performed at Queen Mary's during and after the First World War, 1917-25; there are 2500 case files from this time which were used by Harold Gillies in the preparation of his work Plastic surgery of the face: based on selected cases of war injuries of the face including burns (1920). There are a number of digitised versions of watercolour images of plastic …
More Medical resources…

Middle East

BBC : history : the Middle East during World War One
This BBC History website is an excellent overview of the course of the First World War in the Middle East by Professor David R. Woodward of Marshall University, West Virginia. He examines the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the complete shift in the region's balance of power. Professor Woodward's article is divided into six main sections: the opening moves; defeat at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia; Britain regains the initiative 1916-1917; war on several fronts; defeat of the Ottoman empire. There is an option to print out the entire article. This website will be of great interest to st…
More Middle East resources…

Military History

National army museum
This is the website of the National Army Museum. The museum in Chelsea presents the history of British land forces from the Fifteenth Century to the present day, and the history of Commonwealth land forces up to their respective dates of independence. Online there is an excellent guide to the general history of the Army with summaries of a number of battles and campaigns including: an introduction; the Regimental System; the English Civil War; the War of the Spanish Succession; the American War of Independence; war with France; First World War; Second World War; the Korean War; Aden; …
More Military History resources…

Munitions

Times Online - Shells despatch video
A video from The Times Online Archive showing how the newspaper was involved in exposing the scandal of the shells shortage on the Western Front.
More Munitions resources…

Personal Accounts

Memoirs and Diaries
A web page from the First World War.com website which brings together personal accounts that have been published online.
More Personal Accounts resources…

Propaganda

Media and war : the battle for hearts and minds
Media and War is an online resource for teachers on wartime propaganda. It's designed to tie in with the National Curriculum, but teachers of students at different levels could certainly use it. The site is comprised of two sections, techniques and technologies, which look at the central tenants of propaganda and explore how it works, and the mediums of propaganda respectively. In each section examples are given for the First World War, Second World War, the Falklands, and the Gulf and Iraq War, using a variety of primary and secondary sources, including images and sound files.
More Propaganda resources…

Prose and Poetry

Lost poets of the Great War
Lost poets of the Great War is a website devoted to poets killed in World War I. The poets commemorated are: Rupert Brooke; John McCrae; Wilfred Owen; Isaac Rosenberg; Alan Seeger; and Edward Thomas. For each poet, there is a short biography and a selection of poems. There are also poems by: Mary Henderson; Alice Meynell; Margaret Sackville; Edgell Rickwood; Ernest Hemingway; and Muriel Stuart. Other features include: a sound file of a letter from Wilfred Owen to Sir Osbert Sitwell in July 1918; responses of various poets to John McCrae's 'Flanders Fields'; and a discussion of Christia…
More Prose and Poetry resources…

Sound

The National Archives : Voices of the Armistice
Listen to the voices of the First World War in this series of podcasts produced by The National Archives to mark the 90th anniversary of the Armistice.
More Sound resources…

Supporting Education

Teachit's English teaching resources : War Poetry
An online community for drama/English teachers to share notes - available to download as PDF or as Word documents - to assist with teaching War poetry to students of Keystage 3, Keystage 4 and Keystage 5 (including GCSE and A-level).
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War at Sea

Jutland 1916
An online exhibition from the Imperial War Museum: '1916: British supremacy of the seas was challenged by Imperial Germany's naval might. The ensuing battle, Jutland, has mesmerised generations of naval historians ever since.'
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War in the Air

Aerodrome : aces and aircraft of world war I
The Aerodrome is a simple and colourful website which provides a database of information about: the flying aces of the First World War; the medals and decorations they received; and the aircraft they flew. The aces (those who shot down five or more enemy aircraft) are listed according to: nation; rank; aeroplane; and mission-type. A detailed biography, with combat statistics, is then provided. The aces featured on the site include: Albert Ball; Billy Bishop; Charles Nungesser; Raymond Collishaw; Eddie Rickenbacker; Francesco Baracca; Georges Guynemer; James McCudden; and, of course, 'T…
More War in the Air resources…

Western Front

Western front association
The Western Front Association is the website of a long-established, UK-based organisation with around 5,000 members world-wide. The Association aims to further interest in the period of the First World War and to perpetuate the memory of those soldiers on all sides who served their countries: at home; in France; and in Flanders during the Great War. The website provides details of the organisation's: committees; branches; and membership as well as linking to current relevant items in the press via its 'Stop Press' section. The 'Educational Resources' section is large, made up of artic…
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Women

BBC : Radio 4 : Woman's Hour : Women war poets
Audio from this radio broadcast from 2001, synopsis includes: 'Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Isaac Rosenberg produced an enduring body of poetry in which they commemorated and protested against the trench experience of World War One. But what about the women poets? Have they been excluded from the literary canon because they didn't fight at the front? Contributor: Michele Fry of the Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education'
More Women resources…
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