This is the story of the 30,490 men that left Dundee to fight in the First World War and of the people left at home.
About the Roll of Honour, Returnees and Civilians
One of Great War Dundee’s main objectives is to produce an inclusive, fully searchable roll of Dundonians who contributed to the war effort including a record of Civilians on the Home Front.
Lost war records
Unfortunately more than half of British Army service records were lost when the War Office repository in Arnside Street, London, was hit by an incendiary bomb during a German bombing raid. Around 2.8 million service records survived the resulting fire but many were damaged. Over the years partial records have been reconstructed but there is still just a 40% chance of finding the service record of a soldier who was discharged between 1914 and 1920.
Doing your own research
The official service records are available to view in various forms either in person at The National Archives. Extracts of the official records are also available through a range of commercial online services. Quite often though clues to building a full picture of a life are spread far and wide. Planning how to research a life is key to a successful outcome. There are a number of online guides to researching family history. For the serious, the University of Dundee also runs a few online courses. Use the links in the right hand column to find out more.
About the Roll of Honour
Great War Dundee is grateful to the Friends of Dundee City Archives for the gift of the Dundee Roll of Honour database. We have further enhanced some of the entries with data sourced from various other records but many entries remain relatively sparse. We have invited local history groups to help with our research and we also invite local families to help us say more about the men that gave their lives. Stories drawn from official records say much more about a life than a name, number and date of death, for example, the story of Robert Raeburn and his younger brother George Raeburn.
If you can help in any way to add to the Dundee Roll of Honour please use the form below to contact the Great War Dundee curator.
Around 26,000 men returned home to Dundee from WW1. For many, adjusting back to civilian life was challenging and for some the effects of the war never left them. Most Returnee service records were lost during WW2 but with your help we hope to honour the Returnees by building our own record of their lives. The fathers of some elderly people alive today would have served. Perhaps they have stories to tell and pictures to share. Here’s an intriguing story about a Dundee Minister.
If you can help to build our record of Returnees please use the form below to contact the Great War Dundee curator.
The lives of people on the homefront during WW1 became increasingly hard through rationing and the sense and reality of inevitable loss. Women of working age were increasingly employed in roles normally occupied by men as well as jobs created for the war such as the manufacture of munitions. Among the men and boys outside the age of conscription were conscientious objectors and indeed Dundee was a leading centre for the anti-war movement. Great War Dundee wants to learn more Dundee folk during the war; the jobs and roles people took on; how the war changed them; and how life continued for them after the war.
If you have a story about a civilian in Dundee during WW1 please consider sharing it with us. Use the form below to contact the Great War Dundee curator.