Guide to adding to a Life Story

This Guide to Adding to a Life Story explains:

  • What a Life Story is
  • Who can add to a Life Story
  • How to add to a Life Story

The next page will explain in more detail:

  • What is evidence
  • How you connect evidence
  • Adding and improving facts from evidence


What is a Life Story?

Each individual who made a contribution during the First World War will have their own Life Story page.

These are created by IWM using information from an official record. Initially, each Life Story will just give the person's name and a few key pieces of information from that record. We need your help to piece together the rest of their Life Story - the project is open for contributions until 18 March 2019.

You can show your interest in someone by Remembering them. To do this, click the ‘Remember’ button at the top of their Life Story page, now others can see you are remembering this person. This also adds them to your Dashboard, so you’ll easily be able to get back to their page.


Who can add to a Life Story?

You can add to a Life Story, as long as you’ve created a free Member account. Adding evidence and facts to a Life Story is and will always be free.

Editing a Life Story isn't restricted to friends or family members, so you might find someone you've never met also contributes. Anything you contribute will have your name beside it, so don't be afraid to jump in and start helping out on other Life Stories!

If you choose to subscribe to Lives of the First World War, you can also search over 300 million official genealogy records and connect them directly to a Life Story as evidence, as well as being able to create and manage Communities.


How to add to a Life Story: quick reference

Even if you already know the information you want to add, you still need to start with evidence.

  1. Find evidence that proves the facts you want to add. Evidence can be images you’ve uploaded, website links or book references you’ve added as an external reference, or one of our official genealogy records (such as a service record).

  1. Click the “Add to Life Story” button, then find and connect your evidence, explaining how it relates to the Life Story you’re improving.

  2. Next, add facts. Go to the ‘Evidence’ tab and click on the title of your evidence, then use the 'Add Facts from this Evidence' button.

  1. Use the pop-up window to add facts you can prove from this evidence.

IWM is asking you to use evidence to prove facts. We ask for evidence to ensure that Life Stories you contribute to are a legacy for future generations.


Do you already know the facts you want to add

If you already have information about a person such as a family member you can use that information to help you to find evidence.

For example, to add someone's date of death, first find some evidence. The evidence could be: a photo of their gravestone or memorial; an obituary from a newspaper;  an official genealogy record from this site (or another website), such as a war death record, a death record after the war or a note in their service record. Add the evidence you have found to the Life Story.

Now you can use the evidence to add facts, by going to the ‘Evidence’ tab and clicking on the title of your evidence.

Make sure the evidence you use proves the fact you are adding, otherwise the information will appear unreliable - it could even lead to the facts you've added being challenged and removed.


Next page: How to Add to a Life Story in more detail