About Surrey in the Great War

What is Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers?

Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers is a four year project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to discover how the 1914-1918 conflict affected those left behind, in the county, on the Home Front.

The project aims to encourage Surrey people, and those with connections to the area, to research and share their own First World War stories.  This website acts as a hub for all this collected information, with the impetus on the Surrey-wide community to upload their research on the county’s people, places and Home Front topics.

Between 2015 and 2018, a series of events, exhibitions and a new website will explore the role of the county, its people, and the Surrey regiments in the conflict.  The focus will be on the Home Front, but with an eye on what the people of Surrey were doing on the Western and Eastern Fronts.

How can I get in touch?

The Surrey in the Great War team is based at Surrey History Centre, Woking. You can contact us via email: [email protected], or call 01483 518238 / 518239 (weekdays 9am – 5pm).

I don’t have any Surrey ancestors from the First World War.  Can I still get involved?

Yes, of course!  We are looking for people to research lots of different topics, not just family stories. In addition, even if you do not live in Surrey, but want to get involved please get in touch.  We have volunteering opportunities that can be done from home, and if you have a story to contribute about a Surrey in the Great War topic…even better!

Who do you mean when you talk about ‘Surrey people’?

A Surrey person can be anyone who was:

Born in Surrey
Lived in Surrey during the war
Moved to Surrey because of the war
Died in Surrey
Memorialised and/or buried in Surrey
Served in a Surrey regiment or worked in a Surrey war-time organisation
A Surrey person who served in another regiment

I want to get involved but don’t have any researching experience.  Can I still get involved?

Absolutely!  The project team are on hand to offer guidance and information about research projects, big and small.  They also host training workshops throughout the project, and will be delighted to assist in finding the right project to suit you.  You can email the team at [email protected] or phone 01483 518238 / 518239

I’ve already completed my own research project on an aspect of Surrey in the Great War.  Can I contribute to the project?

We would love to hear from you if you have already done some research.  This website acts as a hub for information about the impact of the war on the county, and we would be delighted to share your work.  This saves someone else doing it, and duplicating your work, and allows us the opportunity to showcase your work.  Of course, we will fully credit you as the author and researcher, and will acknowledge your contribution.  If you are a member of a local history society, we would be more than happy to provide contact details on our website as to how people can find out more.

I represent a Surrey museums, heritage organisation or local history group.  Can our projects work together?

Most definitely.  We want to celebrate all the hard work done by individuals and organisations around the county by promoting and showcasing existing (or upcoming) research.  All images and text will be properly credited and web links and contact details can be attached to any work to send visitors back to the original sources of information.  You can see examples of collaborations in our website; for example, the use of National Trust properties Polesden Lacey and Hatchlands Park during the war, and stories of Dorking men researched by Dorking Museum.

I have researched my family’s history during the Great War, and have discovered a Surrey connection.  Are you interested?

This is exactly the sort of thing we are looking for.  If a relative of yours was a soldier, nurse, Conscientious Objector, fundraiser, worked in a reserved occupation or a munitions factory, or stayed at home in Surrey for any reason: we want to hear from you!  We are interested in the stories of both male and female relatives.

What areas of the county are you looking at?

The whole of the county!  We are travelling around, meeting researchers, visiting schools and holding events in all parts of Surrey.  The boundary of Surrey has changed since the Great War, and used to include boroughs that are now part of Greater London; for example, Kingston, Richmond, Croydon, Sutton and Morden.  Please do contact us if you have a story from those parts; we’re still interested!

Using the website

Do I have to register?

You do not have to register to search the website and browse our content and collections. However, you will need to create an account here if you wish to share content, photographs, or join groups.

Do I have to pay to access content?

All website content is free to access.

How do I search for a person or place?

You can search the whole website using the search bar at the top of each page. This will show you a list of people from our names database, relevant First World War items from Surrey History Centre archives collections, and stories that have been contributed to the website. You can narrow your results using the tick boxes on the left sidebar.

How does the Advanced Search work?

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, just click ‘More Options’ to expand a more specific search tool. Here you can search for items from a specific location, date, postcode, or type a keyword that relates to the topic you wish to read about.

I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Website content will be added to and updated throughout the course of the project, and beyond its official finish in 2019.  If you can’t find a person, place or story, you can add them to the website yourself.

Where can I learn about First World War history?

To get started with First World War history, check out our Subject Pages.  Here you can read about more general topics and learn about the context behind Surrey in the First World War, including themes such as women at war, conscientious objection and conscription.

Contributing to the website

How do I upload my story?

Firstly, you have to register as a user.  To sign up, just click here and complete the short form on the right. We only need a few basic details to get you signed up and posting content. You will receive a confirmation email – just click the enclosed link to confirm your account and get started. Remember to check your spam box if you don’t receive the email from us.

What kind of submissions can I make?

Anyone with any story relating to Surrey in the Great War is welcome to share it with us.  Our project website aims to act as a hub for all stories about people with a Surrey connection, and places within the county.  That could be relative, a First World War nurse who lived in your town, a local sports group whose members served in the Forces…anyone or anything with a Surrey Great War story.

How do I add a First World War story?

We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to add your content to the site. Just visit the Register page and follow the instructions. You can then edit your story and add in photographs to accompany the text.  If you are using photographs for which you do not own the copyright, please ensure you seek permission beforehand. Read the section on Copyright and Privacy for further details.  If you’re having trouble adding your story, just let us know and we’ll be able to help.  You can email the project team at [email protected] or call us 01483 518238 / 518239.

When will my story appear on the site?

The first time you submit a story it will have to be approved by our moderators. This typically takes less than one working day. Once you’ve had a story approved, it will show in search results and you can share it with family and friends. Any further stories you add will then appear instantly.

How do I attach a photo?

You can insert an image directly into your story by clicking the red ‘Insert an image’ button, on the story editor. When the file manager pops up, just click ‘Upload’ and choose an image from your computer. You can then edit the title and description of the image, and tag any names or places that feature in it. Just click the green ‘Insert’ button to add it to your post. You can also add a Featured Image, which will display as a large image on your story page.

I have some First World War items but I don’t have a scanner or camera. Can you scan or photograph my items for me?

Yes! We will be hosting numerous roadshows where you can come along and get your photographs, letters, and objects digitised with the help of our project team. We may also be able to arrange a visit to digitise your collection, if you are unable to travel to an event. View our event listings or email us to find out more.

How do I connect my story to a person or place?

Connecting your story to a person, place, or date on our timeline is the best way to verify your information and make it appear in all website searches. Use the ‘How is your story connected to a person or place?’ box at the bottom of the submissions form, to link your story to a person or place in our database. You can also request to add a new person (if you can’t find the correct name) or tag a place on our interactive map. This will link your story to any others which are related.

I’ve researched a person and found that there is information about them on other First World War related websites – how can I link everything together?

You can go back to your existing stories at any time to add new information.  A unique aspect of our website is the ability to link your story to many external datasets from First World War partner websites. When you upload an image, click ‘Edit’ and then navigate to the ‘Add More Details’ tab. Here you can search and tag your ancestor’s details from the following websites: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Lives of the First World War, the Red Cross VADs, and the IWM War Memorials Archive Names.

Can I go back and edit my content?

You can edit your stories at any time by visiting your Dashboard and clicking ‘Manage Your Stories and Files’.

I’ve lost my password to my account with the Surrey in the Great War website.  Can I request a new one?

You can reset your password by clicking ‘Forgotten your password?’ here.  However, please contact us if you experience any problems during this process.

Copyright and Privacy

What copyright licences apply to images on the website?

You keep the copyright in any content that you create or publish on the website. All content, whether created by Surrey in the Great War or user-submitted, falls under the Attribution NonCommercial Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC 3.0). This allows us (Surrey Heritage) and its users (any third party) to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and also allows them to remix, transform, and build upon the material. This licence requires us or any third party user to give appropriate credit to content, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. If we or any third party user does make alterations to the content, they have to allow others to use the altered content under the same conditions. By agreeing to our terms and conditions, you agree to grant Surrey in the Great War a non-exclusive license to reproduce material you submit online, in project exhibitions and in promotional material relating to Surrey in the Great War for the duration of the project, and in the future.

I want to include an image for which I do not own the copyright.  What do I do?

You must seek permission to use images that do not belong to you.  Contact the copyright holder and state what image you wish to use and why. You can use the website text about the Surrey in the Great War project to explain who we are; state that the project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and all images will be therefore used for educational purposes and not for profit; and please do reassure copyright owners that all photographs used will have their source acknowledged.  Please get in touch if you are experiencing difficulties; we will do our best to help.

One of my images is used on the website and I want it taken down.

We have tried to gain the appropriate permissions for all images used on the website, and to use images in the public domain where possible. If we have a made a mistake in crediting an image, or you own the rights to an image used on the site, please send us an email or phone 01483 518238 / 518239 and we will be happy to remove or correct the image.

How will my information be used?

Any personal information you share with us when setting up your account will be processed and stored securely. We will not share or sell your personal details. We may email you to provide updates about your content or the project. Any content you post to the website can be viewed by anyone – please do not share personal details relating to yourself or others without proper permission. Details of how we may use your online content (excluding your personal details) can be found in our terms and conditions.

What happens when I delete my account? Can I permanently remove all data I’ve submitted?

You can delete your account by entering and confirming your email address in the Manage My Account section of the website. By doing this, your profile and any images and content you have uploaded will disappear from public view. However, this information will be stored privately by us until the end of the project, and post project completion. Should you wish us to completely remove all content and data stored about you, please email us or phone 01483 518238 / 518239

Other Questions

Can Surrey History Centre look after my family’s World War I material?

It is possible to donate or loan documents and photographs to Surrey History Centre where they can be looked after in the best conditions for their long term preservation and made available to researchers.  The Centre collects documents that relate to the history of the county and the people who have lived there and we will happily put you in touch with our Archives team to discuss your options. Please get in touch using our contact form if you have items you would like us to look after so we can advise.  The History Centre does not usually take in objects (such as medals, uniforms and other bits of kit) but we may be able to suggest alternative homes for such items.

Do you provide any education resources?

As part of the HLF project, we can offer bespoke, free one-off workshops or longer term project work for schools.  If you are a teacher and would like to find out more, please contact us.  To find out more, please email us or call 01483 518238 / 518239.

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