The website for the Bristol2014 project has limited access now the project has ended. You can still read a lot of the material on there but some of the links for downloads have broken and can no longer be fixed. This means that it is no longer possible to download the PDF of the family history guide that was specially commissioned. This blog on the Festival of Ideas website has therefore been created so the guide can continue to be available and of use to researchers.

One of the aims of Bristol2014 was to encourage people to find out more about their own family connections to the First World War.

Researching Your Bristolian Ancestors in the First World War: A Guide was written by local historian and journalist Eugene Byrne. The guide is full of helpful tips, useful links and words of encouragement. Topics include preparing to start your research, researching online, how to read old photographs, how to research Empire and Commonwealth soldiers, where to go when you get stuck and how to share what you have discovered.

Hard copies of the guide were available free of charge from Bristol libraries, Bristol Record Office and other partner sites in Bristol2014. Reference copies are currently available in Bath Central Library, Bristol Central Library and Clevedon Library. It can also be borrowed from Avonmouth Library and Bath.

The guide was developed in association with Bristol & Avon Family History Society, and with the additional assistance of Bristol Record Office, the Local Studies Service at Bristol Central Library and local author Clive Burlton.

Download the PDF of the full guide HERE (4.83MB).

Download the PDF of a large-print version, without images, HERE (584KB)


The PDF of the book Bristol and the First World War can still be downloaded from the Bristol2014 website. Topics include: the ‘White City’ exhibition site’s conversion into a barracks and training ground for Bristol soldiers; the remount depot of Shirehampton where thousands of horses and mules were prepared for transportation to the Front; the war in the air; the war at sea; Bristol trade unions and the war; the suffragettes and the war; ANZAC and Canadian soldiers in Bristol; Bristol military hospitals; the growth in voluntary work; war artists whose work can be seen in Bristol collections; opposition to the war; Peace Day 1919 in Bristol; the war dead of Arnos Vale and other local cemeteries; the story of the Bristol cenotaph; and post-war changes in the city.