General FAQs

Lives of the First World War was a project run by Imperial War Museums, in partnership with Findmypast. We would like to acknowledge the kind and invaluable support of the following organisations and individuals, who all contributed to the success of the project:

  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Charles Skey Educational Trust
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • Epson
  • HSBC
  • In From the Cold Project
  • IWM Academic Advisory Group
  • Libraries and Archives Canada
  • Lives of the First World War Members
  • Lives of the First World War Volunteers
  • National Archives Australia
  • National Archives of Ireland
  • The Long, Long Trail
  • The National Archives
  • The Pearce Conscientious Objector Register


Lives of the First World War features the stories of men and women who made a contribution to the British war effort or made a sacrifice during the First World War. From factory workers to the armed forces, and medics to conscientious objectors, you can search our database to discover their remarkable stories.

Between 12 May 2014 and 19 March 2019 we asked members of the public to share images, anecdotes and facts with us. Adding information to Lives of the First World War was a two-step process - first, add evidence; second, add facts contained within that piece of evidence. Evidence is anything that proves a fact - this includes official sources such as military and family history records, external references such as other websites and publications and images for which copyright permissions had been obtained. We asked for such evidence, and provide the source citations, to ensure that Life Stories are as accurate and complete as possible. 

IWM used seed record sets, such as Medal Index Cards, to identify people to include in Lives of the First World War. We also had a feature which allowed members of the public to propose a new Life Story for someone who was missing from our database, based on information they had uncovered. Life Stories were created by IWM Staff and Volunteers.

The original URLs used on will redirect to the corresponding page on, so there is no need to alter them if you refer to Lives URLs on another website.

All Lives of the First World War content is free to search and view without an account. Logins on the previous site were only required to add content and to message another contributor, and so are no longer required.

We are unable to facilitate communication between previous contributors to Lives of the First World War.

To comply with data protection regulations, we display the ID of those who contributed to or remembered Life Stories. The ID is made up of the first name of the contributor, followed by their Lives of the First World War profile number.

e.g. Imperial War Museums is now Imperial1

To find your username, navigate to a Life Story that you worked on and you will find your name under Evidence and/or Also Remembered By.


When you became a Member of Lives of the First World War, you were asked to agree to a set of terms and conditions which allow us to make contributions available on other websites owned or operated by IWM. This means that IWM has the right to use it on the permanent digital memorial for non-commercial purposes, but the content remains your property. We will credit you as the contributor, as well as display the source attribution. 

If you believe that you own the copyright in any of the content on the website, and you have not been recognised as the copyright owner, please contact us here and we will investigate.

We are no longer accepting contributions to Lives of the First World War, so please keep your precious family items safe at home. If you are thinking of offering an item as a donation to IWM, please see the guidelines on this page of the website.

Yes, all the content added to Life Stories and Communities remains free to look at here. The resources from the Teachers' Hub are now found within the IWM Learning Resources online.

We can investigate a takedown of material on Lives of the First World War in the following instances: 

  1. Breach of the General Data Protection Regulation, i.e. display of personal data relating to a living individual, without the consent of that individual
  2. Breach of copyright e.g. an image has been added to Lives without the copyright owner’s permission
  3. Content has been added that causes offence e.g. image added to a profile that is not of that person, use of offensive language in text.

If your query meets the above criteria, please get in touch via this form

Unfortunately we cannot accept submissions of new information or images into the database. 


We are unable to facilitate communication between previous contributors to Lives of the First World War.

When Lives of the First World War was open to contributions, our users could click 'Remember' on a Life Story to show their interest in it and to commemorate that particular individual. We will continue to display the usernames of those who did this when the platform was open between May 2014 and March 2019. 

There are no immediate plans to create Lives of the Second World War. If you are interested in this period of history we encourage you to explore IWM Collections online.

If your question is not answered within these FAQs, or those specific to researchers and teachers, you can get in touch with IWM Customer Services by filling in this form.