First World War Centenary

First World War Centenary

Four children with a man in First World War dress in front of a biplane
The Mersea Men project, Essex. Credit: Jeff Gilbert Photography
The First World War Centenary was a chance to understand the war, uncover its stories and explore what it means to us today. We funded projects across the UK that focused on the events of 1914–1918 and on the lasting changes the war brought about.

99% of people who took part in a First World Wa Centenary project said they had increased their knowledge and understanding of the war.

"It has broadened my understanding of the First World War both at home and abroad. It has made me look in directions I would not have thought about."

Communities leading the way

The National Lottery enabled people to explore wide-ranging aspects of the conflict. This included:

  • stories behind the names on war memorials and of those conscripted to serve
  • life on the home front
  • the changing role of women
  • conscientious objectors and dissent
  • developments in medical care
  • the contribution of diverse Commonwealth, cultural and faith communities to the conflict

People shared these stories through publications, exhibitions, films, drama and social media. Our #OneCentenary100Stories campaign features 100 of these fascinating stories of the First World War.

The national picture

Together, we conserved important First World War heritage and made it accessible, including:

Funding for First World War projects after the Centenary

You can still apply for projects exploring the First World War and its impact through the National Lottery Grants for Heritage.

Re-enactors from the WW1 Remembrance Centre, Portsmouth looking at school panels, plus children’s own work


Charing parish during the First World War

Local volunteers and school children investigated the impact of the First World War on the people of Charing and shared their research through exhibitions, open days and online.

Volunteers at a First World War project
Volunteers at the launch of the project


Basildon and the Somme

Local people investigated how the conflict in Europe affected the community of Basildon in 1916.

Filming of Finding Ella Harling
Filming for 'Finding Ella Harling'


Finding Ella Harling

The diaries of a wartime teenager were returned to her village community so they could discover her story.

If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.