Researching Gallipoli soldiers

Collage of portraits

Dry military records and names on war memorials are not enough. Young people need to find a way to empathise with the people connected with Gallipoli. Some are lucky to have family records such as letters home or personal diaries, but for most of us it’s a question of building a picture from a range of sources. Many of these are available online, and on this page we’re highlighting some of these.

BTP online research module PDF

Researching a local soldier PDF

An excellent guide to researching a local soldier has been produced by the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme (BTP), in partnership with Lives of the First World War and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Teachers need to register on the BTP website to download the guidelines and access other CPD modules but we have been given permission to hold the PDF on our website. Click on the image to the left (opens in new window).

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is the starting point for research into individual soldiers, as shown in the useful BTP guide (left).  The CWGC has an active education service which has created a range of resources for schools.  Their Discover 14-18 pages include descriptions of all the cemeteries connected with Gallipoli.  There are also information sheets such as Rugby’s War Dead (what happened to the best players), Gallipoli (an outline of the cemeteries on the peninsula) and the Poets of the Great War.

Gloucestershire Archives have produced a guide to researching WW1.  Although related mainly to material held in the Gloucestershire Archives, the guide has some useful toolkits with more generic guidance, especially those dealing with the Home Front.  It is aimed more at community researchers than schools, so would be more suitable for the dedicated teacher than the enthusiastic student.

The charity ‘War Memorials Trust’ has an educational arm which offers resources to help teachers use war memorials in their history work, including helpsheets on Gallipoli, lesson plans (including a particularly good one on the design of war memorials) and assemblies.  They also offer visits to schools and guided visits to local memorials (UK only).

In addition to local war memorials there are several national memorials related to Gallipoli. Historic England has listed the main ones in England.

‘Great War’ provides a good starting point for researching individual soldiers.