Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Unseen war memorabilia on display

Briti8sh soldiers leaping over a trench - Photo courtesy National Army Museum
The website marks the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I

The 90th anniversary of Armistice Day is being marked by the launch of a website containing unseen memorabilia from World War I.

The Great War Archive website by Oxford University is a collection of 6,500 digital images of items submitted by members of the public.

The majority of the images are family heirlooms which have never been on public display.

Project leader Kate Lindsay said the collection was unrivalled.

"The Great War is arguably the most resonant period in modern British history," she said.

Souvenir matchbox

Items going on display include a photograph of a bullet-dented tea can, which saved the life of an engineer who repaired a bombing post while under heavy fire in Bullecort in November 1917.

A souvenir matchbox made by a German prisoner of war for a British Lance Corporal will also be on display, along with sketches of scenes and characters from military and civilian life by Pte Percy Matthews.

Author and academic Vivien Noakes said each item in the collection had a poignant story behind it.

"The archive provides a myriad of windows into the period - the Great War in microcosm," she said.

"Access to this material can only enhance our understanding of what it was like actually to live through these momentous times."

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