The Greater Manchester Archives and Local Studies Partnership is looking for volunteers for our World War One projects.

Five soldiers and a dog

This blog has been set up to share news and developments in local research relating to the First World War.

2014 will mark one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War. The last veterans who fought in it are no longer with us, but they have left their stories in archive documents and photographs. We can tell their stories for them.

Unknown soldier

Their stories are based in the areas they came from as well as where they served their country. Local archives are looking to recruit volunteers to research and explore their collections, sharing their discoveries through a range of social media and exhibitions. Training, help and guidance will be given. It will be a moving and valuable process to uncover the stories behind the statistics.

Nurses and soldiers on the steps of a hospital

Military records can provide one side of the story. Archives have access to information that fills in the rest of the experience. Family photos of men home on leave, in uniform,perhaps for the last time. Postcards from the Front. Diaries and letters that can show how wives and families coped at home. Not all the stories are military ones.

Family of four

Here are some examples of the kind of projects planned.
Wigan archives’ collection  includes diaries and records from the Leigh Military Tribunal.

Tameside has oral history tapes which need listening to and transcribing as well as digitising.

The Greater Manchester County Record Office has over 2,000 photographs relating to people and places in the First World War from the Documentary Photographic Archive. These images have been digitised but need to be shared and researched to reach a wider audience.

Stockport have plans to research local newspapers and school log books for wartime stories.

Salford will be tying in resources from archives, war memorials and museum collections to the social history of Salford and the legacy of the war.

Trafford has a collection of glass slides and Cheshire Regiment records.

Bury has relevant local newspapers and Bolton hopes to research local Zeppelin raids.

Oldham will be looking at stories around the local Pals regiment and wartime refugees, whilst Rochdale has a collection of letters which will be part of the wider story of life during wartime.

We are so fortunate to have these resources. Many were collected when the First World War was within living memory, and through our efforts and research we can make sure that these important stories come to life and remain alive for future generations.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact:

Greater Manchester County Record Office : Nicky Crewe,
or your local archive:
Bolton: Julie Lamara,
Bury: Gill Paxton,
Oldham: Joanne Robson,
Rochdale: Julian Jefferson,
Salford: Duncan McCormick,
Stockport: Margaret Myerscough,
Tameside: Larysa Bolton,
Trafford: Karen Cliff,
Wigan: Alex Miller,

Our volunteer opportunity tells you more about the project and what you could be doing!