Welcome to the Diary of the Great War

One hundred years on, this site published day-by-day accounts of the First World War, as published at the time in the “Diary of the War”, a column in British broadsheet newspaper, The Times. The project existed to mark the 2014-2018 WWI centenary and was published across social media, engaging 3,500 followers and over 100,000 visitors.

Today, the Diary of the Great War is a huge database of information about WWI. The text from The Times is reproduced exactly, and links and images have been added to provide context for the 21st century reader. You can search it or you can navigate by month of the war, by theme or by tags (see side bar). Alternatively, you can read the Diary of the Great War from the beginning! We hope you find it useful.


“When you go home, tell them of us…”

To the followers of the Diary of the Great War,

Yesterday was our “last post.” After 4½ years of work, 1,575 posts have been shared with 3,462 followers to tell the day-by-day story of the First World War in all its facets – civilian, military, political, social, economic, global. On land, on sea and in the air. What started as a kernel of an idea that came to me over a cup of coffee has ended as an established testament to an event that changed the world forever and continues to shape our world today.

Over the last few days, I have been asking myself one question: have I done enough? It is an honour to have had the opportunity to remember the Great War at its centenary and I can say with a true heart that I could not have done more. The Great War Diary project commemorates all those that lost their lives in this conflict, on all sides and on all fronts (including the “home front”). It also commemorates the millions that experienced the war as prisoners; and those that came home but returned to a life they did not wish for. It remembers the decision-makers and those who shaped public opinion; the news reporters and the public themselves that lived through it by reading the news at home.

I would love to hear what this project has meant to you, and to receive any feedback or ideas you may have for its future. Please drop me an email or leave a comment below. The Diary of the Great War will continue to be available as an online resource for anyone who wants to find out what happened, when, where and why. I will continue to review its functionality and features to ensure it remains as relevant and useful as it can be. If you would like to read more, please visit the sister site, Diary of the Great War… On Tour, which includes stories from my own visit to the Western Front inspired by the Diary of the Great War project.

Finally, thank you for reading. Thank you for your interest, your support, your questions and your curiosity in coming along on this journey with me. I will never know who most of you are but you spurred me on to write every day and this project would not have happened without you.

“…for your tomorrow we gave our today.”


Anna Matthews
Creator, Owner, Manager: Diary of the Great War