As part of the World War One centenary, Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War project is now live – an online archive for sharing the stories of those from Britain and the Commonwealth who served in World War One. But this BBC article suggests many entries so far are made up of people’s names and little else – not the photos, stories, anecdotes and memories that the BBC was hoping for in order to create a living archive to remember their lives. The project is encouraging people to keep original material (photographs, documents, diaries, letters) handed down from family collections for future generations, while uploading and sharing images of the documents on its website. This exciting project is very aligned with the aims of Memory Box – discovering the past in a new light through the means of images and voice recording.
We have a number of beautiful stories on the app at the moment where a number of inspirational storytellers have shared their memories of being an evacuee during the war, encountering an Italian prisoner of war in 1943, and one woman’s memory of her father, a Royal Marine finding a unique way to let his family know he was safe. Keeping our family stories about memories of poignant events like these safe is incredibly important. Stories are the foundation of our communities and families; they make up who we are and remind us to look to the past and learn from those who came before us.
We look forward to browsing the Lives of the First World War project’s archives over the coming months; and hope we can collect some stories of our own when the Memory Box app launches next month.