LIFE on the Home Front in Worcestershire during the First World War has been brought back to life by SSAFA.

The military charity, which was the only one working across the UK at the start of the war and is still operational today, is putting local history in the spotlight by publishing online its records from 1914. The digitalised records reveal SSAFA’s extraordinary achievement, mobilising 50,000 volunteers across the UK and Empire and assisting more than 1 million people in 1914 alone. Every town is listed with the number of people helped, the types of cases, and the organisations and individual benefactors.

In 1914, the SSAFA Worcestershire branch alone assisted 3,273 wives, 8,721 children and 2,356 other relatives giving £6,663 in aid. This compares with a total of 333 cases and visits for SSAFA lthroughout the county last year..

This free and easy resource instantly transports users back in time and helps them to learn about the impact of WWI on the Home Front and the hardships it imposed on the wives and children of soldiers who went off to war.

Lydia Horstman, SSAFA’s digital communication manager, said: "This resource has taken these unique reports out of the archive and made them accessible to new audiences, including local historians and WWI experts. By digitising the SSAFA 1914 Flag Book, people can also explore the reports in a new way. Before it took a long time to search the index, now it’s simple to search for information about a local place, a family member or notable people who were connected to SSAFA at the time. We wanted to get people talking about the Flag Book so we’ve made sure that every page can be shared on social media or by email. It’s been great to see all the tweets and posts about what people have found in our reports.”

The records are held on an online searchable database at and are free to access.