A new blog has been set up to showcase Greater Manchester’s wealth of archive materials dating from World War I.

Run by the ten local authority archive and local studies services in Greater Manchester, with the help of volunteers, GM1914 is online now.

The blog already features incredible images and stories unearthed from Greater Manchester’s archives, with many more due to be published throughout the centenary year of the Great War.

Historical documents have been pulled together from across Greater Manchester for the project, with Manchester’s Libraries and Archives service having already published more than 3,000 pictures to its Flickr page.

Stories from Wigan, Tameside, Stockport, Oldham, Salford, Bolton, Bury, Trafford, and Rochdale will also be published during 2014.

Volunteers of all ages have been exploring the archives, seeking out personal and local stories relating to the Great War. In diaries, letters and newspaper articles, they have found tales of torpedoed ships and munitions factory fraud, men in uniform and women at work on the home front, eye-witness accounts from the trenches and a copy of the Wipers Times – a newspaper produced by soldiers on the frontline and recently the subject of a BBC TV drama, written by Ian Hislop.

Images of war horses in France, camel troops on the eastern front, hospital patients and training camps have all been discovered and can be explored at the blog and via the Archives+ Flickr page.

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle, said: “As we prepare to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, it is very important that we highlight the fascinating range of wartime documents which we and our partners across Greater Manchester are fortunate enough to hold.

“The GM2014 project couldn’t have happened without the dedication of the volunteers who have searched through the archives, unearthing the personal stories of local people who lived in extraordinary times.”


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