About the project

One hundred years on, this site publishes 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*. It was a retrospective summary of events printed every month, starting in September 1914.

The text is reproduced exactly here but links have been included in order to provide additional context for the 21st century reader. Sign up to receive the “latest news” by email (see the right-hand side of the page). Alternatively, follow us on Twitter @GreatWarDiary, like our Facebook page or check back each day to keep abreast of wartime developments.

Copies of the original newspapers are kept at the British Library and digitized versions can be accessed through The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985, a subscription database available through many UK public libraries. Why not ask your local branch?

This site is not produced by or affiliated with Times Newspapers or parent company News Corp. It is produced as a personal project of Anna Matthews (@exeteranna) for the purposes of learning, education and commemoration. The reliability of The Times as a source of historical fact should not be taken for granted – and that’s what makes this project so interesting! Cambridge University provides an introduction to the reading and understanding of historical sources.

Why does history matter? Take a look at this short animation.

Your feedback and questions are welcome. Please email greatwardiary@yahoo.co.uk.

*The column title varied.
Cover image: Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) training in France, circa 1916. The original image is available here.