In 2014 the world marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The four years of the war between 1914 and 1918 remain one of the most significant periods in recent British history, affecting almost everyone in the UK and in all the countries involved. At its end a new world order had emerged and we are still understanding and absorbing the implications of the momentous changes the War brought about.
The centenary of the First World War in 2014 represents therefore a significant act of commemoration both in the UK and internationally. The Imperial War Museum is leading activities in this area and the AHRC, in partnership with IWM, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the BBC and other organisations, is working to ensure that arts and humanities research plays a central role in the commemoration, bringing new perspectives and interpretations to bear on our understanding of the War and its legacy, sparking contemporary resonances and inspiring public interest.
We have launched a blog, Beyond the Trenches, reflecting on researching the First World War (opens in new window), and produced a commemorative publication, 'Beyond the Trenches: Researching the First World War' (PDF 17MB, opens in a new window):
World War One at Home
The AHRC is funding researchers to work with broadcast journalists in the BBC Regions and Nations to source, select and present stories linked to significant places marking the history of World War I.
World War One at Home further information.
World War One Engagement Centres
In partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the World War One Engagement Centres will support a wide range of community engagement activities, connecting academic and public histories of the First World War as part of the commemoration of the War’s centenary.
World War One Engagement Centres further information.
Other funded activities
The following is a selection of AHRC-funded grants associated with the First World War:
Legacies of War
The Legacies of War Centenary Project at the University of Leeds is run by academics who have research interests in different aspects of the First World War and wish to share their knowledge widely during the years of the 100th anniversary of the War. The project's research and activities are structured around five thematic strands: Yorkshire and the Great War, Culture and the Arts, Science and Technology, War and Medicine and War and Resistance.
Legacies of War Centenary Project Website (opens in new window).
AHRC film on 'Leeds Stories of the Great War' (opens in new window).
Comics and the World Wars
What is the contribution of the comic form to the cultural heritage of the global experiences of the World Wars and what different kinds of historical meaning emerge? The research project, based at the University of Lincoln, and the two major exhibitions that go with it - one on World War One comics at the Belgian Comic Strip Museum, and another on Second World War comics at London's Cartoon Museum - will emphasise to the heritage industry the potential of comics as a cultural artefact.
Comics and the World Wars website (opens in new window).
AHRC film on ‘Comics and the World Wars’
The First World War in the Classroom
This exploratory research project seeks to critically examine the ways the First World War is taught via History and English Literature across secondary schools and universities in England.
The First World War in the Classroom website (opens in new window).
Whose Remembrance? aims to help restore the largely forgotten history of the experiences of the peoples of Britain’s former empire in the wars to its rightful place in our consciousness.
Whose Remembrance website (opens in new window).
The significance of the centenary
An AHRC-funded network is asking some important questions about the anniversary of the First World War. Find out more in an AHRC feature article.
The significance of the centenary website (opens in new window)
Aftermaths of War: Women’s Organizations and Female Activists
An AHRC-funded research network is taking the lead in recording women’s activism after the First World War, drawing together scholars from diverse disciplines and employing a comparative and transnational perspective. Find out more in an AHRC feature article.
Aftermaths of War website (opens in new window)
Image Gallery: A textile narrative of John Edgar Bell, Quaker and conscientious objector in WW1
Dr Sonja Andrew from the University of Manchester compiled this image gallery to create a visual narrative about the experiences of John Edgar Bell, a Quaker and conscientious objector in WW1 who was imprisoned for refusing to fight.
Textile narrative of John Edgar Bell image gallery
For further information on AHRC-funded research on the First World War, please go to Gateway to Research (opens in new window).