There are hundreds and hundreds of online resources to help you learn more about the First World War and the soldiers that fought in it, indeed, if you want an (almost) exhaustive list of all military research websites, then check out my interactive pdf which lists, links to, and describes thousands of very useful websites…
However, there are half a donzen or so websites that personally, I keep coming back to time and time again when I am researching WW1 heroes..over time, I will share with you my fave WW1 websites…(in no particular order). First up is the Commonwealth War Graves.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission www.cwgc.org
This free online resource is simple to use and brilliant for tracking down those soldiers who died in both World Wars. The Debt of Honour Register is a database of about 1.7 million (count them) men and women the Commenwealth who died, as well as the 20,000 plus cemeteries and memorials where they are commemorated. There is also 67,000 civilian dead on the register.
Searches are carried out by surname, and can be refined by adding initials, years of death, nationality and which force served in. Once you hit the ‘go’ button you will then see a list of hits in tabular form noting name, rank, regiment, date of death, age and grave/memorial reference. When you find your chap, you can click on his name and more information such as any gallantry medals, next of kin, and the important unit information is also shown. You can print out a ‘certificate’ which gives you all this information on one page which is a nice touch…
However, the site is not just about the register, there are good online learning areas, specifically on the Battle of the Somme, Ypres and the German Offensive of 1918. There is also a new North Africa (1940-1943) area which is very good.
A related site is the War Graves Photographic Project (http://twgpp.org) which aims to hold a photographic record of every Commission head stone and memorial.