100th Anniversary of the End of 'Great War'

It was the 11th hour, the 11th day in the 11th month that the armistice was signed, 100 years ago, so ending ‘The Great War’ – the war to end all wars (1914-1918). Americans had been involved since April 1917 but Europeans and British Commonwealth nations (such as Australia and Canada) had been in this war since 1914.  

A good project for this 100th anniversary is to check who on your family tree (including great uncles) served in the military. However, do not forget about the ladies, many who served as Red Cross nurses and drivers, even overseas.

By making a point to write up what you can locate about those relatives serving during the Great War (World War One) it is a wonderful method for their memory and contributions to be recorded. Each would have a different experience. Some were killed in battle, other died due to the wide-spread Spanish Flu, and others returned home but died within a few years from injuries. Those surviving bore some scars, visible or invisible for the remainder of their lives. Share what you locate not just with family members but also with the family hometown museums and libraries, especially during this timeframe.  

If they served from Canada there are the WW One personnel records for Canada which should help in the research. For the United States use the National Archives-Military link. Reminder there were African-America and Native Indian military groups. For the British military here is their link of archives. Then the military records for those from Australia here are their military link. For the British Commonwealth and many different wars, here is a good site.  

This is a worthwhile project.

Photos: English soldiers in the trenches on the Somme in 1916; American soldiers arrived in France 1917; three Millett brothers of The Royal Canadian Regiment; and Diggers Digger – An Australian soldier. This term originated during World War 1.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

American ‘Doughboy’

World War One Draft Cards

Submit Your Ancestor’s WW One Story

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