Frequent Questions


1) What is Great War Stories?

Great War Stories is an inspiring, interactive platform, that allows the people of Luton to discover, build and share the stories of their town during World War One (WWI) 1914-1918. It also lets the people who live in Luton today upload, and share the stories of their ancestors war time experiences, be they civilian or military.

2) Who is running Great War Stories?

Great War Stories is led by Luton Culture, in partnership with The University of Bedfordshire, and funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

3) Why is Culture Trust creating Great War Stories?

Due to its vibrant multi-cultural community, Luton has a rare opportunity to cover the story of the British Empire at war. Luton Culture aims to demonstrate that people from all communities were affected by shared struggle and sacrifice, often far from home and familiarity.

4) Why are you working with the University of Bedfordshire?

The University of Bedfordshire have an innovative and highly skilled team of computing professionals, who are actively researching new and exciting ways to search for and use historical data; among many other projects. Who better to work with as our technology partners?

5) What other organisations are involved in projects like this?

Many institutions and organisations across the globe are contributing to an international effort to recognise the world changing events of WWI.

6) How is the project being funded?

Great War Stories is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

7) What is being commemorated?

The story of Luton during WWI as told through the lives, objects, and events that affected the people of Luton in WWI; and the wartime stories of the ancestors of people who live in Luton today

8) I can't find the ancestor/place/object that I am looking for!

The database is being populated by project volunteers who are slowly adding content. If your ancestor is not here, but you know about them and/or have objects related to them. Then you can upload your ancestors details, objects and story to the site. As the database grows and more people add content, the story of Luton's WWI will expand, and you may find out new connections and things about your ancestor.

9) I was not born in Luton and/or my family lived in another country during WWI?

We would still like to hear your story if you live in Luton today. This project will be much more effective at showing shared struggle and sacrifice across communities, if you could tell the story of your ancestors war, or share their memories; with the people of your town.

10) What time period will Great War Stories cover?

Great War Stories will become a digital memorial to the WWI experiences of Luton, and it's people. So we will cover the period 1914 - 1919. Whilst WWI ended in 1918, peace was not officially declared until 1919, on a day infamous in Luton history. The burning of the Town Hall at the 'Peace Day Riots.'

11) Why is Great War Stories different from other memorials?

Great War Stories will be built by historians, volunteers and most importantly, the community. It will be shaped by the contributions of the people of the town, and hence, we hope it will become a personal story that captures contributions from across the communities of Luton. It will allow people to share treasured memories, and discover interesting things about their town, and the lives of others.

12) Why is Great War Stories different from other centenary projects?

Great War Stories will enable people of all ages from across the globe to explore, research, record and share information about Luton's war time history; and the contribution this town, and the ancestors of its present population, made to the war effort.

13) How long will Great War Stories be available for?

Great War Stories aims to be available for the duration 2014- 2019, and will then be kept or donated to a national collection as a permanent digital memorial.

14) When will I be able to use Great War Stories?

We will be building and testing the platform during 2013 then launching to the public in March 2014. We anticipate adding new features and more archival material throughout the 4 years of the First World War centenary.

By registering and logging into the site, you will have the ability to upload images and files, and create content. Read the 'How to Contribute' section for further guidance.

Luton Culture simply does not have the room to collect and preserve thousands of items from family collections in the museum, but Great War Stories will enable you to upload and share your images of your precious First World War mementoes.

16) Will there be live events?

Collecting days will be held in various venues around Luton during March - April 2014. There will also be an exhibition at Wardown Park Museum from Aug-Dec 2014, and a number of theatrical plays about WWI.

17) How will you moderate content?

Great War Stories will follow accepted conventions about decency, language and offensive material. We will also rely on the good will of users to police content, and report any breaches or offensive material by flagging it. Project volunteers will be able to delete content.

18) Will Great War Stories be accessible on all devices?

Great War Stories will work on mainstream web browsers, phones and tablets.

19) How do I get involved?

By registering and logging into the site, you will have the ability to upload images and files, and create content.

We need you to help us build the life stories of Luton's great war. You can help by transcribing documents and stories linked on the forum. Uploading images of your ancestors, their heirlooms, treasured mementoes and memories. Sharing your family stories and WWI items. Helping to police the site.

20) How do I make an enquiry?

All available information is included in these FAQs. Please read them carefully and then register on the site to take part in uploading your content. There is a project mailbox at

21) Why is the site Black and Yellow?

Black and Yellow are the colours of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiments. It seems only fitting to honour their colours in the design of our site. If you don't like them, you can strip the colours away using the 'Viewing Options' tab at the top of all the site pages.