World War I

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Australian recruits signing up to create Wikipedia articles, Melbourne, 1914

Wikimedia UK is working with both Wikimedians and institutions to help improve our coverage of World War I, in the lead up to the centenary in 2014.

The opportunities are immense. The Centenary will be a vital moment in the histories of many nations. There will be literally hundreds of thousands of journalists looking for background, students at all levels researching projects, and family historians finding out about their lost relatives - all using Wikipedia as an important source. At the same time, many institutions will be using the centenary as a focus for their own work and will be particularly keen to reach out to online volunteer communities like ourselves on topics like this.

This page is a place to help coordinate Wikimedia UK's work and thinking. Individual collaboration projects should be forked off to a page on the relevant project. We also hope to work closely with the English Wikipedia's Military History Wikiproject, and some relevant discussion may end up happening there.

AGM Presentation

Chris Keating gave a presentation on Wikimedia UK and the World War I centenary at the WikiConference UK 2012, the presentation can be found here.

World War I articles by quality and by pageviews

Figures available here for all WWI articles with quality ratings and pageviews. Fascinating stuff (blog post coming) TO DO:

  1. Look at category TreeView, not just WPMILHIST Wikiproject
  2. Look at articles by sub-category
  3. Try and manually exclude "not-really-World War I" topics


There will be a World War I Editathon on Saturday 16 June 2012, with a number of leading World War I experts attending! Please go to the editathon page for more details.

Sign Up

If you're interested, please sign up here (and please enable your emails.)

  1. The Land 11:56, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
  2. I'll write on anything historical (particularly historical biography) given a fair chance. My particular thought about this was to get English Wikisource's WWI portal up to scratch during 2013. From 1914 to 1922 there are eight years' worth of related publications in the public domain, and surely there is huge scope for making those available (poems are famous and I suppose that's because they are a kind of reportage people find accessible; but there are novels and other prose works; coverage of the war in periodicals; memoirs; examples of propaganda; and so on). There is local history impact: one thing that was brought to my attention recently is that definitive lists of military hospitals in country houses (the "Downton Abbey" thing) do not exist. And so on. Charles Matthews 12:48, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
    1. The most complete list of hospitals I'm aware of is - and Sue Light who runs the website is probably the leading researching on the nursing side of the war. David Underdown (talk) 09:27, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  3. I'm on the other side of the world from the UK here in Australia, but would like to keep in touch with this. Nick-D 10:50, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  4. Certainly. My interest, as many of you know, is all things nautical: but I'm also happy to work on technical articles. Not so good at biographies I'm afraid! Richard Symonds 11:23, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  5. I tend to prefer WWII - but would be interested in helping out! --ErrantX 11:35, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  6. Great that we're getting involved with the centenary. Happy to help out with anything—I'm a decent copy-editor—though I usually write biographies. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:57, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  7. Am interested, per my interest previously expressed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Operation Great War Centennial. See also the note left here. I would suggest leaving a note there, contacting that editor, and also co-ordinating with those listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/World War I task force, and putting notices at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history and that project's newsletter. I've also noticed various people editing WWI topics. It is not always clear if they are in the UK, but it is worth directing them here and to the en-wikipedia project pages, just to get more people interested and building up momentum. Carcharoth 02:21, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
  8. I've been doing quite a bit of WWI biography material over the past couple of years, but I'm more than willing to diversify a bit... Shimgray 21:40, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  9. I'm making WWI virtually my sole focus of wiki activity until the centenary. I've bought two general histories of the war: 1914-1918: The History of the First World War by David Stevenson and The First World War by John Keegan. I'm hoping to flesh out articles where I can using those sources or add them as sources where they agree on unreferenced content we have. I've never attempted to improve Wikipedia by going paragraph by paragraph through unfamiliar books before so it's a bit of a learning curve and I'm aware that I don't want to take too much from these sources to any extent that would raise the eyebrows of the authors. I'm just feeling my way as I go. I have chronic health problems which are liable to make me a bit of a stop 'n' go character, getting a fair bit of work done over some periods and then being absent from view for other periods. I'm unwell at the moment but am hoping to get back to this by mid-February. Unfortunately for various reasons I've been unable to get anything done on this and I don't think that's going to change. However, before even being aware of this project I did proof-read a lot of World War I articles, maybe in 2011? So at least a lot of the main ones should be free of any horrible sentences. Apologies to all. --Bodnotbod 15:32, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  10. I'm working on 3rd Ypres and am interested in WWI in general so I might be able to do a bit.Keith-264 09:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  11. I have been working on en:Wikipedia:British infantry brigades of the First World War. A bit of a neglected subject IMHO with the divisions and regiments, being well documented. Jim Sweeney 13:59, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  12. I have potterd about some WW1 subjects a few times. Will continue to keep an eye open.Slatersteven 22:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  13. I'm not editing much at the moment, but have a big WWI interest, and a good knowledge (and access to the main UK primary sources). David Underdown (talk) 09:27, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


Yes. Yes it does.

(please add more ideas/expand them)

  • World War I editathon
  • Working with local regimental museums
  • Reach out to other languages / chapters (there are loads of media uploaded from the German and Australian national archives, for instance)
  • Crossovers with other initiatives (the Warship Histories project with the NMM? MonmouthPedia? QRpedia?)
  • Technical subjects; e.g. we probably know institutions who have all the British technical/bureaucratic documents related to the development of the tank, for instance
  • Biography
  • Maps - both in their own right, and maybe we should think about (say) working with OpenStreetMap for a historical layer
  • High profile subjects where "everyone knows something" with relatively good source coverage, vs more esoteric subjects with lower traffic and lower interest
  • Thankful Villages & war memorials could add local interest.
  • Mythbusting.
  • Collaborate with the Imperial war museum? I believe they have a Wikipedian in Residence??
  • <- collaboration?
  • Collaborate with WikiLovesMonuments - buildings with WW1 connections (barracks, HQs, homes of notable people, memorials)
  • Collaborate with local studies librabries/ archives etc to scan public's family photos from the era