World War One army unit war diaries are now available on Ancestry.co.uk
On Ancestry.co.uk are two new collections of regimental war diaries: France, Belgium and Germany, 1914-1920; and Gallipoli and Dardanelles, 1914-1916. If you know the name of the regiment your ancestor served in during World War One then you can now find out some background information on your relatives’ experiences during World War I. The war diaries include daily reports on operations from the Western Front and the Gallipoli Campaign. You’ll be able to find out where your ancestors regiment was and what it was doing at particular periods during the war.
The level of detail varies depending on who was filling in each diary – but at times you can read not only hour-by-hour accounts of some of WWI’s largest battles, but also accounts of day to day life under constant shelling, casualties, and mundane facts such as what the weather was like, and how morale was holding up. Names are mentioned, but the diaries are not indexed. That is the subject of an ongoing crowdsourcing project Operation War Diary.
Included in the diaries are those of the Essex Regiment.