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World War One

Dorset History Centre holds many records which reflect the impact of the First World War both at home and on the front line. During the centenary we are sharing the stories of ordinary men and women of Dorset.

  • Beck face World War 1 diary RSM G Beck

    Read the vivid first-hand account of World War One captured in a soldier's diaries, 100 years after he wrote them during campaigns on the Western Front.

  • Women working at the Blandford brewery during World War 2 Women in the war

    Women played an important role in Dorset during the First World War.

  • Dorset in World War 1

    Between 1914 and 1918 Dorset bristled with troops, recruits and volunteers from all parts of the country and from as far away as Australia and New Zealand who came here for training before being sent to war.

  • Herrison Hospital female ward 1991 Spotlight on mental health in World War 1

    Staff at Dorset History Centre have been looking at the treatment of patients at the Dorset Asylum during the First World War.

  • In their own words: letters from World War 1

    During World War One it took only two days for a letter to reach the front. By the war's end, two billion letters and 114 million parcels had been sent and received by Britain. A few of these have been deposited in the archives and offer a personal perspective on the war.

  • Pride with Territorial Army, Sherborne In their own words: reminiscence from World War 1

    Oral history interviews have captured the memories of real people who lived through the First World War, giving us a real insight into life at home and in service.

  • Beck face Christmas Truce recorded in WW1 diary

    The Christmas Truce of 1914 has passed now almost into legend. Great armies engaged on the Western Front in the bloodiest of all wars called a ceasefire and instead came together in a spirit of peace to exchange gifts, play football and sing carols. Diaries held at Dorset History Centre provide a first-hand account of this remarkable lull in the fighting.

  • Beck face Dorset Regiments on the first day on the Somme

    The name of 'the Somme' remains a highly-charged and hugely evocative one. The first day on the Somme saw almost 60,000 British casualties and almost 20,000 men killed.

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