With over 100,000 members and more than 7.6 million Life Stories, Lives of the First World War continues to thrive during the centenary period. To support the IWM team, a group of 16 dedicated Volunteers offer both their time and expertise to help shape the project. In this guest blog post, Michael Newbury writes on behalf of the Lives Remote Volunteer Group to explain more.
- Who we are
Before we get on to what we do let’s talk briefly about who we are. We’re from all over the world, from all walks of life and backgrounds. Most of us have never physically met, as we make contributions from our own homes. But that’s not at all important. What unites us all is a belief in the potential of Lives of the First World War to be the essential first port of call for anyone interested in the conflict, and those whose lives it touched.
The Lives Volunteers provide invaluable assistance in inspiring people of all ages to explore, reveal and share Life Stories. Their help is greatly appreciated.
Charlotte Czyzyk, Project Manager
Within the group we have folks who have years of experience behind them in the fields of family, military and social history. Our interests are reflected in the various Communities that we curate; from every British ship involved in the Battle of Jutland, to those involved in accidents in munitions factories. Alongside our belief in the site is a two-fold commitment: the first is to ensure that information in Lives is accurate and evidence-based; the second is to help other members to get the very best out of it.
- What we do
Alongside our own research, the Volunteer Group picks up and deals with queries that are posted on the Suggestions Forum of the Lives of the First World War site. The Volunteers have dealt with almost 600 requests on the Suggestions Forum so far this year. We have also collaborated with other Lives of the First World War members on particular projects, such as the loss of HMS Bulwark in 1914. Sometimes it’s simply a case of knowing where to look and you’re able to quickly point to the correct Life Story profile. In other cases it can be trickier, particularly if facts provided in good faith prove to be inaccurate.
We love to receive feedback when we have helped someone:
“I’d like to say my thank-you to the IWM volunteers who are working so hard … The Great War – and I use that term deliberately – was the first to involve and affect nearly everyone in the country – and the Empire of the time – and the ability to put a face to a name is incredibly moving”
Lives of the First World War Member
- Can we help you?
On any day – including Christmas Day – a Volunteer is almost always busy doing something on Lives of the First World War.
If you have information about an individual who doesn’t currently have a Life Story page, please post details here with as much evidence as possible. Before submitting a request, please search for the Life Story page on Lives of the First World War.
If you believe that a person has more than one Life Story page that requires merging, please provide details, including the URLs, here.
IWM Staff and Volunteers aim to deal with your request as soon as possible.