The Long, Long Trail is a personal website, born in 1996 and developed as a hobby ever since. Every word of it is written by Chris Baker but with much help along the way from some key sources and information provided by others.
Along the way it spawned and then spun off the incredibly successful Great War Forum, which has brought thousands of family and military historians together from across the globe.
The site is 100% funded by Milverton Associates Ltd, a company registered in the UK which is wholly owned by the author. All site facilities are free for visitors to use.
The original intent was to build a comprehensive online order of battle for the British Army in the First World War. It still is: but along the way, mainly because people asked, sections have been added on how to research a soldier; the battles and battlefields of the war; and much more.
You can do lots of things on this website. For example, if you know the regiment and unit that a soldier served with, you can see where he went and which battles he took part in. This is how:
[In this example, we are looking at a man who served in the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles]
First, read the page about his unit. To do that, click on Infantry regiments, then on Royal Irish Rifles. You will see a brief history of 2nd Battalion. Make a note of the Divisions with which they served, and when.
Now click on British Divisions. The battalion was in 3rd Division first, so click that. Read their history: it tells you which engagements they were involved in. Then repeat for 25th Division and 36th (Ulster) Division and you have the full picture!
Some past designs of the site
Thanks to everyone who visited over the years - your encouragement and kind remarks have been inspirational.
Thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine for keeping snapshot copies going back to 2001
In May 2008 the Long, Long Trail gained its first genuine third-party plaudit when the BBC's "Who do you think you are?" magazine named it as the best site for tracing military ancestors.
On 8 October 2014 Long, Long Trail website was announced as winner of the ISG Special Category Award by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CILIPs Information Services Group has an annual process of evaluation of reference works (books and websites) that culminates in the awards. In addition to the broad arena of work that is studied is a special category, which in this centenary year was chosen to be military history. The ceremony, held at CILIPs London headquarters, began with a keynote speech by Professor Gary Sheffield of the University of Wolverhampton. To give an idea of the calibre of the competition for the Special Category Award, the Long, Long Trail was selected in preference to the excellent website operated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Chris Baker, author of the Long, Long Trail, was presented with the winner’s certificate by Professor Sheffield and CILIP President Barbara Band.