A Guide to WW1 Battlefields and History of the First World War

This site provides an overview of the First World War battlefields on the Western Front by showing you where they are and what you can see there today. Established in 1998, the website is dedicated to the memory of 20 family members who served in the military during the Great War of 1914-1918.

Visiting the WW1 Western Front Battlefields

Poppy growing on the Somme battlefield in France.

Take a look through our pages of information, advice and photographs.

Visiting the WW1 Western Front Battlefields

Location of The Western Front Battlefields

Map of The Western Front battlefields 1914-1918.

Map of the Western Front battlefield locations and an overview of the regions in Belgium and France where the 1914-1918 battlefields are situated.

WW1 Battlefields of The Western Front

Battlefield Remains

Trench remains at Vimy Memorial Park on the French Flanders battlefields, France.

The Western Front battles left a scarred landscape in Belgian Flanders and north-eastern France. Various preserved sites of battlefield remains can be visited.

Battle Remains on the WW1 Western Front

Museums

Relics from the battlefields on display at the Ulster Tower Museum on the Somme battlefield in France.

A number of museums focus on the First World War, with a number of large national museums and small private museums on the battlefields.

WW1 Museums and Archives

War Graves on The Western Front

The largest British military cemetery in the world, Tyne Cot Cemetery on the Ypres Salient battlefield near Ypres.

There are many thousands of war graves and commemorative memorials for the fallen of many nations along the line of battlefields that formed The Western Front.

War Graves for WW1 Dead on The Western Front

Battles and the Western Front Battlefields

Aerial photograph of the WW1 battlefield south of Ypres in Belgium.

Find out about how the Western Front was formed as a battlefront from the battles of movement in autumn 1914, through a three year period of trench warfare to the final Advance to Victory by the Allied Armies from July to November 1918.

Battles of the Western Front 1914-1918

WW1 Research

Detail from a British Army trench map near Hooge in the Ypres Salient.

A wide range of material is available to explore and study the First World War from online and public archive collections, academic study courses, lectures, guided tours, books, military documents, trench maps, and resources for teachers.

WW1 Research and Sources of Information

Tracing WW1 Family History

Collage of family ww1 history.

Are you looking for a member of your family who served in the First World War? See our advice on how to get started. Find out about the sort of information you can find and where to find it for military records, medal records, unit histories, trench maps and official military histories.

Tracing World War 1 Family History

What's On

Wreaths at the Menin Gate Memorial

Ceremonies, events, exhibitions, conferences, lectures and archaeological studies take place during the year on the Western Front battlefields of Belgium and France. See our What's On event listings for the battlefields, and WW1 related events in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

WW1 Exhibitions, Conferences, Lectures & Commemorative Events

The Poppy Umbrella — A Gift to Remember

The Poppy Umbrella

In keeping with the spirit of Remembrance The Poppy Umbrella is a practical way to “Remember” throughout the seasons — in sunshine or in rain. The family behind this website at greatwar.co.uk also founded The Poppy Umbrella. A number of ex-Service charities and military heritage organizations sell The Poppy Umbrella to help raise funds towards their good work. The idea for this unique umbrella originated in Ieper (Ypres) on Armistice Day 1995, close to where the famous poem “In Flanders fields the poppies blow...” is believed to have been written.

The Poppy Umbrella

Special Features on greatwar.co.uk

In Flanders Fields The Poppies Blow...

Poppy on the WW1 battlefields.

Read the poem by John McCrae and how he is believed to have written this famous poem one evening in May 1915 after he had buried a friend killed by an artillery shell.

In Flanders Fields by Lt. Col. John McCrae

Sounding Last Post in Ypres

Ieper Buglers sounding Last Post

Every night at 8 o'clock the Last Post is played in a ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres (Ieper), Belgium. Find out about the Last Post ceremony, listen to a live recording and learn more about the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.

Hear & Read About the Last Post Ceremony

Battle Study: The Second Battle of Ypres

Gas was released from pressurized metal bottles on 22 April 1915.

98 pages of an innovative study of the build up to the Second Battle of Ypres and the first gas attack on the Western Front. Told from the German and Allied sides of the wire the story is illustrated with maps, previously untranslated German material and original research.

Build up to the Second Battle of Ypres, 1915

The Story Behind the Remembrance Poppy

Moina Michael became known as The Poppy Lady.

This is the story of how the red field poppy came to be known as an internationally recognized symbol of Remembrance. From its association with poppies flowering in the first spring of the war in 1915 on the battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli this vivid red flower has since become synonymous with great loss of life in war.

The Story of the Remembrance Poppy

Copyright

No text, images or soundfiles on this website may be extracted or reproduced without permission.

Any images which are not the copyright of the authors of this site have been used with permission.

If you have any comments about the site or would like to ask permission to use an image or soundfile please e-mail us at webmaster@greatwar.co.uk