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Home Front Legacy Recording App

How Did WW1 Affect Our Local Area?

This session plan covers the following aims and outcomes:


Session Aims

  • To involve pupils or your group in researching their local area using web-based searches, local libraries, archives and museums.
  • For pupils or your group to add more information to the Home Front Legacy records by adding value to existing records, or finding new places to research and record.


Session Outcomes

  • Your class or group will discover some of the sites already “on the radar” in your local area. Your class or group may have added extra information to existing records on the Home Front Legacy map , or may have created new records to add to the Home Front Legacy map from their own desk-based research.


Black and white photograph of a group of men digging a practice trench.
Digging a Practice Trench in WW1

Resources required

Web Links

The following web links will help you to begin researching different types of Home Front sites to see how the First World War directly affected your local area:


Historic Environment Records

Historic environment records (HERs) are sometimes called Sites and Monument Records (SMRs). They provide information about thousands of historically and archaeologically important sites, buildings and monuments. You can search these online for information about local First World War sites:


In England


In Scotland

  • There is a list of the HERs in Scotland available on the SMR Forum Scotland website. It includes contact details for each of the HERs.
  • Historic Environment Scotland provides access to the Heritage Portal , which allows you to search for protected historical places across Scotland. The map search function is a good place to start.


In Wales

  • Archwilio provides public access to the historic environment records (HERs) for each local authority area in Wales. It includes (or provides access to) information on tens of thousands of historic sites across Wales.


In Northern Ireland

  • You could contact the Monuments and Buildings Record of the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland. It holds information on all elements of Northern Ireland's historic environment. It includes written records, maps and photographs.


Google Search

A quick Google search might help you to find local sites or projects linked to First World War archaeology.


Session plan

The First World War Home Front can be researched using a range of sources. Your class or group can join in the Home Front Legacy project by conducting research using resources found on the Internet and in local museums, archives and libraries.


Activity Ideas

Challenge your pupils or group members to choose one building or place in your local area that was used to support the War Effort. They may have identified this during Session 3: What was our area like 100 years ago, at the time of the First World War? How is it different today? 

  • Does this building or place have a record with the Historic Environment Record? Can they find historic photographs that show how it looked during the First World War?
  • Are there any stories that are linked to the building or place which they can discover through archive research and old newspapers?


Once their desk-based research is complete, your pupils or group can upload the information that they have discovered onto the Home Front Legacy map of sites, using the Home Front Legacy recording app. This could involve adding extra detail to a site that is already recorded, or uploading a new site to the map.


If your class or group is updating an existing record, there are two ways to do this:

  • You can contact the Home Front Legacy team with the additional information, and they will upload it for you.
  • Or you can upload a new record for the site. If you choose this option, please ensure that the reference number of the original record is included in the 'Related sites' field of the app using the following format, 'HFL Ref: 000'1


Please note, there is no in-built app function for users to add to an existing record.


Activity Idea

Create an exhibition that includes your pupils’ or group’s research? This could be displayed in your school, local museum or local library. It could include newspaper articles, historic and modern photographs, creative writing, the comparative maps that your pupils or group members have created, and more!


Photo showing an anti-aircraft gun in the background, with British soldiers in the foreground
British Soldiers with an Anti-aircraft Gun