Stories from the eastern front in WWI
Views of an Antique Land
Commemorating the centenary of the First World War, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, a team from Cardiff University are collecting digital versions of photographs and memorabilia created or purchased by service personnel, especially taken in Egypt and Palestine. Roadshows, held at locations throughout England and Wales are giving descendants an opportunity to recount the lives of these service personnel, now long past, and to reveal a more personal side to the conflicts.
Paul Nicholson, Egyptologist, Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University, points out that “the histories of Britain and Egypt have long been intertwined. However, the place of Egypt during the First World War is often overlooked because of the focus on the Western Front.”
His colleague and collaborator, Steve Mills, sees this project as a critical contribution to understanding WWI. “Beyond the Western Front there was another First World War, a war of movement, of cavalry operations and one which was fought in the heat of the deserts and in dusty towns in the Middle East.”
The Offline Database
The CoDA team built a custom application for aiding the collection process from donors, streamlining the process so that volunteers can spend more time visiting, listening and documenting the often remarkable stories and personal accounts, to build a richer picture of the lives of the service personnel, and the places they visited.
The Online Archive
Working in collaboration with the Center for Digital Archaeology (CoDA), the information, digital media and personal accounts are transformed into an interactive site and archive. The archive allows the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about Egypt and Palestine in the First World War.