Terms of Service

Terms & conditions

We aim to keep our Terms & Conditions as simple as possible. This website (www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org) is owned by Imperial War Museum ("IWM") so when we refer to “we”’ or “our” in these terms and conditions, we mean IWM. By using the website you are making an agreement with IWM. The website is delivered in partnership with Findmypast LTD. Where required, explicit reference is made to both parties (“IWM and Findmypast LTD”).

Accepting the Terms:

In order to use the services you must first agree to these Terms and Conditions. You may not use the services if you do not accept these terms and conditions. You accept the terms and conditions by actually using the services.

These Terms & Conditions explain our conditions for you using the livesofthefirstworldwar.org website. By using this website and/or buying something from us you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with our Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, you must not use the website.

Certain material on the website is made available under the terms of IWM’s Non-Commercial License (see http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/privacy-copyright/licence). Before reusing any content in any way, you must read the section on Intellectual Property Rights section below and the terms of IWM’s Non-Commercial License. Site content that is marked ‘All rights reserved’ cannot be reused without express permission.

Our Privacy Policy forms part of these Terms & Conditions, so please also read this. These Terms & Conditions, the Privacy Policy and any other document we refer to in these Terms and Conditions make up the whole agreement between you and IWM. Some services referred to in this document are not yet available, but will be in the near future: your reward for reading this page is to get a glimpse of what else is coming.

What you can use the service for:

You can use our services for your own personal or, where you are a professional genealogist, professional use. This means you can use this service to: search records; connect sources to life stories; add facts to life stories; add comments and other narrative to life stories; upload content; purchase access to premium records and other services; tag, download and print records (although any sharing of content must be on a personal, non-commercial basis); these should not be shared with any third party); and subject to some limitations explained on the website, merge and share records via social media, various websites and other platforms (owned by IWM, Findmypast LTD or third parties (as appropriate)).

All use must however be for your own personal, non-commercial or, where you are a professional genealogist, professional use, e.g., to research your own family history or as a professional genealogist to perform research for you or others. This is subject to our rights to cancel your account, as set out below. For the purposes of these terms and conditions, a professional genealogist is defined as a sole proprietorship conducting research for clients. If your organisation consists of more than one genealogist, you should contact us to subscribe to a corporate license.

Getting access to the records and services:

You can search the life stories and historical records on the website and many of these are available without charge. To view premium records or use other features of the website, you will need to buy a subscription. You have to register with us and be signed in to buy a subscription. A contract exists between IWM and yourself once we send you a confirmation email, after receiving your order and accepting your payment for a subscription.


You have to register with our website and be signed in to use some features of the website. You must be aged 12 years or over to register on the website. If you are under 18, you may register with our website and view the records and services that we make available for free. If you want to purchase a subscription to use chargeable features of the website, you must be over the age of 18 or have permission from your legal guardian (usually a parent) to do so. We reserve the right to ask you to provide us with a copy of identification which will verify your age. Keep your sign in details private at all times. You must keep your personal information accurate and up to date, especially your email address.

Personal Data and Payment Security:

By using this website you have agreed that you have read our Privacy Policy with regard to your personal data and credit card information. 


In order to allow you to find a package that suits your requirements, we may offer varying subscription packages which may differ in terms of records, price and duration.

Continuous subscription:

When you subscribe, it is on a continuous subscription basis, meaning that your subscription will automatically continue unless you cancel it. You can cancel it in the "my account" area or contact us via the Support Forum and your subscription will end at the end of your current billing cycle provided this is done within the applicable timeframes. If you do not cancel the continuous membership within 48 hours of the next billing date, where you pay for your subscription monthly, or within FIVE DAYS of the next billing date, if you are paying for your subscription annually, we will automatically renew your subscription and will take the next payment on or around the agreed next billing date. We will send you an email at least 10 days before your next billing date to remind you that it will automatically continue and money will be taken from your account unless you cancel, except in the case of subscriptions paid monthly where we will not send reminders every month. This is to make sure we don’t cut off your access to the website. We cannot provide refunds for a continuous membership subscription which has been renewed in this way.

Changing subscription packages:

If you are a subscriber, you can change the package at any time before your next billing date. You must tell us within 48 Hours of your next billing date if you are paying for your subscription monthly, or within five days of your next billing date if it you are paying your subscription annually

Cancellation and your right to a refund:

If you buy a subscription, you can contact us and cancel within fourteen days from the day after receipt of our confirmation email and we will happily give you a full refund as long as you have not viewed any records. Please be aware that if you view records before the expiry of this period, your right to cancel your subscription will be lost.

Free Trial Membership:

From time to time you may be able to sign up for a Free Trial which lets you view a selection of the premium records for a fixed period so you can try before you buy: this requires a credit card. We only allow one Free Trial per household and will stop you taking a Free Trial if we think you've already had one. No payment is taken from your card until your Free Trial comes to an end: you can cancel your Free Trial at any time from the 'my account' area on the website. When you get to the end of your Free Trial, if you have not cancelled by the day before the expiry date, you will automatically become a subscriber to the package your Free Trial was based on, and we will then take your first subscription payment.

Contributing to Life Stories and the website

The website gives you the opportunity to add to life stories using information you find on this website and elsewhere. You can add to any life story using information you find on this website and may also be able to add information from other third party websites as well as other sources. All the people who have Life Stories on the website are no longer living. There are limited ways to add information about other people (e.g. siblings, children) who may be living. You should always obtain consent from any living individuals if you wish to include personal information. You may publish names and dates of birth without consent where this information comes from a legally permitted, publicly available source.

Adding to life stories is easy to do and is the main purpose of the website. However you should be aware that any third party websites you link to will have their own terms and conditions/privacy policy and you should read these carefully. We shall have no responsibility or liability for the content or activities of any other websites which you may choose to link with.

If you do publish content on the website (whether on Life Stories or otherwise), you must not:

  1. publish anything that violates the rights of any third party;
  2. publish something that you do not own the rights in (including copyright) (or do not have permission from the rights owner to publish). Once published on the website, we cannot control how other people may use that content; therefore it is important that you have permission to publish from the rights holder;
  3. include anything we consider offensive, inappropriate or defamatory (at our discretion);
  4. break the law, for example by saying something libelous, or by posting something which results in a criminal offence;
  5. share the personal information of living people without their permission. You’re responsible for managing content you create, including using privacy settings we make available; You may publish names and dates of birth of living people where this data comes from a legally permitted, publicly available source.
  6. impersonate another person;
  7. mine, collect or use any information from this website with the intent to harm, discredit, harass or prejudice any other person; or
  8. disrupt the flow of information or other data to and from the website or do anything which impacts the service or performance of the website.

How we use content created by users:

You keep the copyright in any content that you create or publish on the website. However, by publishing it you are giving IWM and its group companies (which means us and any subsidiary and/or parent company of ours that might exist in the future) a non-exclusive, perpetual, transferable, sub- licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use (including editing, adapting or modifying the same) your content for any purpose and on all media no known or hereinafter invented. You agree not to object to our use, or any use by our group companies or partners, of the material that you create or publish on the website and acknowledge that we may not accredit you as having produced the material. Here are some examples of how we will use content you generate:-

  • to add it to life stories and make it available to other all website users
  • to make it available on other websites owned or operated by IWM and those that it is in partnership with;
  • to allow other users to download, print and save copies of your content for their private and non-commercial use;
  • for promotional purposes, such as marketing and advertising;
  • to help us improve our product and service offerings, including undertaking background searches;
  • to form part of the life story database that we build linking user content to records and datasets we hold;
  • to make it available to internet search engines;
  • for other services provided by IWM group companies or its partners.

If we use any of your personal information (for example, your name) in connection with any content that you create, we will seek your advance permission.

Content you create is available on the internet:

Your registration and private conversations between members are always kept private: read our Privacy Policy for more information on this. We are not liable for any loss you suffer if content you create is abused by somebody else.

Except from your private conversations between members and your registration information, the content that you make available on the website can be viewed by other users of livesofthefirstworldwar.org, users of websites that are either part of our group companies or with whom we have a partnership, and by internet search engines all as further outlined in the “How we use content created by users” and “Respecting your intellectual property rights” sections. If you don’t want this to happen, please do not publish the content.

We love being able to offer a service whereby users can store their memories, photographs and other information however please keep a copy of your information elsewhere. We shall not be liable for any loss of information (including photographs) under any circumstances including for example, should we ever have to close the website. We urge you to backup your information elsewhere.

Monitoring content created by users:

We do not monitor content published by our users and take no responsibility for things that you publish, so think before you post! If you see something on the site that you think is offensive, illegal or which isn't in line with these Terms & Conditions, please let us know by using our Reporting Form on the website. We don't guarantee that we will always remove it, but we will certainly look into it. We reserve the right to remove content that you create, at our discretion.

Intellectual Property Rights:

A large amount of time, money and effort has been expended to make these records and features available online. Many of these records and features have been obtained from other organisations and people. These people or organisations often own the intellectual property rights in the records (the copyright/database rights owner is displayed on most records) and website features. Accordingly, you may not use the records or features to create your own work (for example a database of records), copy or reproduce the records (either in whole or in part), or make available, share or publish them unless you have our permission (and/or that of the owner of the copyright/database rights in the work) in writing. You may however use screenshots of our website for blog postings, articles and presentations for informational and educational purposes. If you are a professional genealogist (as defined above) you may also use the records or features in preparing unpublished reports for clients. The website and services provided belong to IWM and Findmypast LTD, and again, you must not copy or use them without written permission. Therefore, you only have a limited license to access the website and to use the content for personal or professional family history research (including unpublished reports for clients if you are a professional genealogist). In no circumstances, must our services (including records) be used for commercial purposes.

Content (including facts, comments and images) that is incorporated into life stories, is made available online under the terms of IWM’s Non-commercial license, unless marked otherwise. Certain content is not licensed in this way and that includes premium content. This will be marked ‘All Rights Reserved’, or similar. IWM’s non-commercial license allows attributed, non-commercial, non-derivative reuse of content and the details of this license are set out at: http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/privacy-copyright/licence

Only life story content may be reused in this way and only where it is not marked ‘All Rights Reserved’ or similar. Premium content or content that is part of a record set, but not part of a life story may not be reused in this way.

Respecting intellectual property rights (including copyright):

If you believe that you own the copyright in any of the content on the website, and we have not recognised you as the copyright owner, please contact us via the Help Forums on the website and we will investigate. While we are investigating, we may temporarily remove the records in question. If we agree that you are the copyright owner, we will work with you to find a solution that you agree with, or we will take the record in question off the website permanently.

On this website, you are able to publish content; including transcriptions of facts, images; comments added to life stories or forum discussions. You remain the owner of any intellectual property rights in content you publish on the site.

You agree that even though you may retain certain copyright or other intellectual property rights with respect of the Content you create while using the Service, you do not own the account you use to access the Service, nor do you own any data IWM stores on IWM servers submitted by others. Your intellectual property rights do not confer ownership of others' data stored by or on behalf of IWM.

Applicable Laws:

The user agrees to obey all applicable laws and to not infringe any third party privacy or intellectual property rights and only to submit accurate, truthful, non-defamatory and non-offensive content for the website.

Changes to the website or records:

We reserve the right to make changes to the website, including the records and services we offer, without notice; however, where we have removed records from your subscription, we will try to replace any content you have paid for with a comparable substitute. As a subscriber, you will generally get a lot of new records added to your subscription at no extra cost during the period of your subscription (at our discretion). If we launch a major new collection, on rare occasions this may be charged for separately. We reserve the right to change pricing and make special offers to groups or individuals.

Service level:

We aim to offer a website which is fast, accurate and performs well. However, it may not always work as expected. If the website does experience issues, we are not responsible for any losses you might suffer.

Accuracy of records and other information provided:

We cannot confirm or give warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the records or other information on the website. We simply provide access to it. We are not responsible for content on other sites that we link to. We cannot promise anything in relation to the content and services on the livesofthefirstworldwar.org website, apart from what is set out in the Terms and Conditions.

Things beyond our control:

Sometimes things happen that disrupt your service which we have no reasonable control over. Examples are fires, floods, strikes, earthquakes, landslides and other unanticipated events or natural disasters. We are not liable for any losses caused to you by such unanticipated events.

Customer support and complaints:

We really believe in Customer Support and always aim to fix problems where we can: quickly and amicably. If you have a question, suggestion or complaint, please contact our Customer Support team first and we’ll do our best to sort it out.


VAT at the current applicable rate is included in the price. We only offer VAT receipts to non-EU customers on personal purchases over £90, with a £15 administration fee.

When we cancel your account:

We rarely stop people using the website but reserve the right to cancel your account in certain circumstances. Generally, we may exercise our right to cancel an account if you do anything that is not permitted under these Terms & Conditions, regularly go over the fair usage limit, or we cannot take a payment for a subscription when it is due. If you persistently offer look ups to other people and provide them with records in an excessive manner, we, at our sole discretion, reserve the right to stop your access to the website. In all these cases, you will have no right to a refund.

Limitation of Liability:

Except where prohibited by law, in no event will we be liable to you for any indirect, consequential, exemplary, incidental or punitive damages, including lost profits, even if IWM or Findmypast LTD have been advised of the possibility of such damages.

If, notwithstanding the other provisions of these Terms and Conditions, we are found to be liable to you for any damage or loss which arises out of or is in any way connected with your use of the website or any content, our liability shall in no event exceed the total money you spent on the website in the twelve calendar months before you made a claim against us.


These Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy are personal to you, and you are not allowed to transfer your rights under this agreement to anyone else.


The law is constantly changing, so if any part of these Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy no longer applies or is no longer legally enforceable, then that part will be severed from the rest of the agreement: the rest will continue to apply.

The law:

These terms and conditions are made and governed under the laws of England, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions. You agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts to resolve any disputes arising from these terms and conditions.

Accepting the Terms:

In order to use the services you must first agree to the terms and conditions. You may not use the services if you do not accept the terms and conditions. You accept the terms and conditions by actually using the services.

Changes to these Terms and Conditions:

Any changes we make to this agreement must be made in writing and posted under these Terms and Conditions in order to have any effect. If these changes are material changes (as opposed to minor typographical, stylistic changes or those that will not affect the service provided to you) and you are not happy with these changes, please let us know. If you do not agree to the new terms, we will (at our discretion) cancel your subscription or other payment package and provide you with a pro-rata refund.