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Calls On Public To 'Complete First World War Stories'

People are urged to provide information on eight million people involved in the conflict.

Cenotaph London

The Cenotaph in London was built following the end of World War One. (Picture: PA).

Members of the public are being urged to help find the last "missing pieces" to complete the stories of eight million people involved in the First World War.

Throughout the centenary of the Great War, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) has been working with the public to put together the life stories of each of the men and women who served in uniform or on the home front during the conflict.

More than 7.6 million stories have been added onto the IWM's digital platform, titled 'Lives of the First World War', which shows factory workers to servicemen and medics to conscientious objectors.

Now the IWM is calling for the public to help complete the records and are hoping to reach eight million stories before the centenary of Armistice in November.

The public can add to the stories by attributing facts, scanning and uploading photographs, researching names on local war memorials or sharing family anecdotes.

Stories of people and communities who are still missing key pieces of information include Camberwell air raid victims, members of the Women's Land Army and those who died in the Chilwell National Shell Filling Factory explosion.

Charlotte Czyzyk, public engagement and project manager, said the vision was to represent the toil and sacrifice made during World War One.

"The founding vision for IWM was that all those who contributed their 'toil and sacrifice' during the First World War would be represented in the museum.

"Now, in the digital age, that vision can be achieved through IWM's flagship digital centenary project, Lives of the First World War.

"Our achievements to date have been remarkable and we could not have achieved this without the support and dedication of our members and the public.

"Now we need the public's support once again to help us find the missing pieces of this gigantic puzzle, and reach our target of eight million Life Stories by Armistice."

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Lives of the First World War records the stories of those who experienced the war, whether it be it on the battlefields, in the air or on the home front.

"I've loved exploring my family history - and learning about the experiences of my own ancestors in the trenches.

"It makes the horrors and lessons of war so real.

"I encourage everyone to explore their family history, and if they discover they have a connection to the First World War, to add it so that future generations can learn about the sacrifices made by our ancestors."