Project Description

'Durham at War' was a First World War centenary project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and run by the archive, museum, and archaeology services at Durham County Council. 'Durham at War' now functions as an interactive mapping website that tells the stories of County Durham and its people in the First World War. Launched on 10 September 2014, exactly one hundred years after the first Durham Light Infantry soldiers arrived in France with the British Expeditionary Force, the website is still live, though no longer regularly updated. It has helped to commemorate the role of Durham people at a momentous period in the county’s history. The website acts like a giant virtual jigsaw, making the links between the archives, objects and sites that survive today, and showcasing new stories about local communities one hundred years ago. This website uses an interactive map to allow location based browsing, make the links between the rich diversity of information that is available online, and adds new details from institutional and private collections that have not been accessible in a digital format before. Throughout the centenary period project staff ran a series of research modules, training sessions and events to help volunteers explore relevant heritage collections in depth and publish their discoveries on the website. 'Durham at War' also provided advice to many community projects, attending their events, with the website offering a way to disseminate their own research and outcomes. The project additionally ran many education sessions for schools both in the classroom, and at Durham County Record Office, at both primary and secondary education level. The project provided support and research to Durham County Council commemoration events. Volunteers helped to produce a series of pop-up exhibition banners that were frequently on display in County Hall and events that the project attended. as well as being loaned out to libraries and community groups. There were 269 registered volunteers in total. Conferences were held in 2016 and 2017, at County Hall, Durham, for them to share their stories with each other. In 2018, the conference was opened up for the public to attend, including a schools conference held for GCSE history students.
Durham at War poppy logo


Organised by

Durham County Record Office


North East England






Focus and Research

Resources used for research

Local archives, particularly the Durham Light Infantry Archive held at Durham County Record Office; National Archives - UK, Canada, Australia and other organisation archives; genealogy websites; published material; online forums and other resources; personal records and stories provided by the public.