About Durham At War


The Durham at War Project


HLFHI_2747This is a First World War centenary project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by the archive, museum and archaeology services at Durham County Council.

Durham at War is an interactive mapping website that will tell the story of County Durham and its people in the First World War. Launched on 10 September 2014, exactly one hundred years after the first Durham Light Infantry soldiers arrived in France with the British Expeditionary Force, the website will be live until the end of 2018.

It will help to commemorate the role of Durham people at a momentous period in the county’s history. We hope that the website will act like a giant virtual jigsaw, making the links between the archives, objects and sites that survive today, and helping to uncover new stories about local communities 100 years ago. Now members of the public can log in to the website worldwide to add their own contributions and pin them to the interactive map. Alternatively please send information for the website by email.

This website is not designed to duplicate, rather to complement, existing web-based resources. It will use the interactive map to make the links between the rich diversity of information that is already available or is being developed online, and add new details from institutional and private collections that have never been accessible in a digital format before.

Throughout the centenary period project staff will run a series of research modules, training sessions and events to help volunteers explore relevant heritage collections in depth and publish their discoveries on the website.


Durham at War blog

    Visit the Durham at War blog for latest project news







How to Volunteer

You can register as a volunteer on the Durham at War project here.


The Durham at War Logo


poppy1_461x72dpi Inspiration for the logo design came from a real First World War poppy from France that was sent home to County Durham in 1917 by soldier John Harkess.

The logo outline copies the shape of the original poppy petals and the black centre represents the area covered by the interactive mapping on the Durham at War website, a combination of the county boundaries a hundred years ago and today.






Historic Mapping


DT(27.01)C_drillhall The historic mapping on this website covers the combined geographical area of the historic County Durham in 1914-1918 and the present day administrative county.

You can see the difference between the past and present county boundaries using the interactive map feature on the Home page.

Map scales

The historic mapping is based on 25 inch to the mile [1:2500] Ordnance Survey County Series sheets for Durham and North Yorkshire, mainly from the collections at Durham County Record Office.

For some of the least populated, rural areas in Teesdale and Weardale, where maps at the 1:2500 scale were not produced, we have used the corresponding six inch to the mile [1:10560] map sheets instead.

Map editions

We have used the map editions that are closest to the First World War. Ordnance Survey carried out a second revision of the original 1850s survey of County Durham in the period 1912-1919 and the revised County Series map sheets were published between 1915 and 1921.

For the area formerly covered by Startforth Rural District in North Yorkshire, which is now part of County Durham, we have used the first revision of the Yorkshire: North Riding County Series maps. The first revision of the Yorkshire North Riding survey was undertaken in the years 1907-1914 and map sheets relevant to the area covered by this project were published in 1913-1915.


Durham at War wins an award


Receiving award (left to right): Gillian Robinson, Gill Parkes, Cllr John Robinson (Chairman of the County Council and Mayor), Nick Boldrini, Victoria Oxberry

Receiving award (left to right): Gillian Robinson, Gill Parkes, Cllr John Robinson (Chairman of the County Council and Mayor), Nick Boldrini, Victoria Oxberry

Project recognised in council’s Great Staff, Great Stuff awards

The hard work of Durham at War project staff and volunteers was rewarded in spectacular style as the project was recognised at Durham County Council’s prestigious Great Staff, Great Stuff awards. These awards are given to individuals, teams and initiatives throughout the council who have done excellent or outstanding work in various categories. Durham at War achieved ‘Highly Commended’ in the Innovation Category. Awards were given out at a ceremony on Monday 1 December by the Mayor of Durham and Leader of Durham County Council. Congratulations and thanks to all those volunteers and staff who contributed to the success of the project. This is a fantastic start to our project and we look forward to many future successes.