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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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About This Site > Project History

How the site worked: Content areas

The site was divided into three main areas: Contribute, Read and Research. A fourth area was important for each user: the Personal Page, which acted like the user's personalised homepage to the site.

These pages explained how to make a contribution, contained the form people filled in when submitting a story, and help pages with information on how to sign in, scan photographs, etc. The Contribute functions were switched off at the end of January 2006.

The main Read page was the gateway to thousands of stories categorised into one or more of 195 main categories (64 main themed categories, with most of the rest made up of British regions and countries around the world). Most of these categories are still present in the archive.

These pages contained information on how to research a family's wartime history by contacting the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, obtaining service records and other official information, and interpreting World War Two artefacts. This information was not retained in the archive, because it was felt it would date very quickly.

This section also contained the Research Desks, where people could ask questions about the war, and other users of the site would answer them. The Research Desks were not retained in the archive.

Personal Page
Each registered user of the site had a Personal Page which contained links to all contributions that user had made to the site - stories, questions and forums - and where other users could leave personal messages. The user's Personal Page could be accessed with one click from any other page on the site, and have been included on this archive site.


From September 2004 to June 2005, one new lesson plan was added to the site each month. The plans were devised by a former history teacher, and aimed at helping teachers of History, English, Religious Education, Citizenship and Media Studies to plan lessons using WW2 content. All of these lesson plans are available in the archive.

The Schools area of the site also featured information on how children of all ages can learn about the war by 'adopting a veteran', and gave information on interviewing techniques and running inter-generational events at schools. Many schools held open days for former pupils and older members of the community around the anniversaries of the end of the war in 2005.

Some of the schools that took part in the project were:

WW2 Site Helpers and other community activity

About 50 people on the site have the words WW2 Site Helper added to their names. These people were volunteers who took a very active role on the site, helping people who had difficulty using the site, answering family history queries, and leaving comments on other people's stories. Many of them came to the website every day to meet friends and read stories, and they all made an extremely valuable contribution to the site.

Any registered user could leave comments in the forums on any story, and they often did: complimenting the author, questioning or confirming the facts, adding their own memories. All of these forums have been retained in the archive.

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Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced.

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