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First World War diaries go online

Around 300,000 pages of First World War unit diaries have been digitised, and will be available for "citizen historians" to read online from today at

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First World War diaries 'to humanise' historical battle

The online publication of thousands of pages of diary entries from the First World War will allow "allows people across the world to discover daily activities, stories and battles of each unit for themselves", author and military records specialist William Spencer said.

The dairies are the most popular records held from the National Archives First World War collection. Credit: Press Association

The diaries are the most popular records from The National Archives' First World War collection and are being digitised as part of the organisation's centenary programme.

Mr Spencer said he hopes the publication of the diaries will enable people to learn more about the First World War, and shed some light on the thoughts and feelings of the men who fought it. He said:

"It's interesting because it's humanising it. War is a de-humanising thing."

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