UK Armenians & WW1

Hundreds of soldiers of Armenian origin joined the Great War, fighting and dying for their adoptive country.


Stories of the Armenians in the British military forces, based on their descendant’s interviews and research, can be found on this page.

We gathered some amazing stories about Armenian doctors involved in WW1 – Ernest Haik Riddall Altounyan, the Dobrashian family and Varaztad Kazanjian

Knowledge of languages and the local culture have enabled many Armenians to work for the British Intelligence Services, often risking their lives and supplying important information. This section presents two incredible stories.
World War 1 and the Armenian Genocide displaced millions of people, and you can read some of the survivor stories here.
Many people supported the Armenians in different ways – fundraising, donating, travelling to help the refugees, etc. We talk about some of these remarkable people in this section.
A brief introduction of WW1, main theatres of war, facts and figures.

UK Armenians and WW1 was a two-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the aim of creating an audio-visual archive of the experiences of the Armenian community in the UK during WW1. A number of interviews were conducted with project contributors who kindly shared their personal family stories. Testimonies of War, a short documentary produced by Athena Mandis with material supplied from the project, is based on these interviews. Further research was carried out in relation to Armenian soldiers, doctors, refugees and other community members which are viewable on this website and was also incorporated into an exhibition shown at a number of venues across London and Manchester. We would like to thank everyone who contributed their time, family stories, knowledge and skills in order to record, preserve and document their memories and research for the benefit of future generations.

Explore individual stories

Andranik Amirbekian

1906 – 1970
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Armenak Sarkissov

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Haron Baronian

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John Bezdikian

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Kevork Chavooshian

1877 – 1961
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Hampartz Ademian

1891 – unknown
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Levon Akaghaian

1899 – unknown
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Shemavon Danielan

1890 – 1967
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Krikor Gulbenkian

1891 – 1917
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Krikor Hagopian

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Charles Fielding Krikorian

1881 – 1916
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Dickran Kistigian

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William Turpanjian

1895 -1966
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Benjamin Raphael Vertannes

1892 -1953
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Joseph Zorian

1897 – 1917
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Ernest Haik Riddall Altounyan

1890 – 1962
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Varaztad Kazanjian

1879 – 1974
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Gertrude Dobrashian and family

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John Arakelian

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Thomas Mugerditchian

1861 – 1945
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Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large and ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our staff and volunteers are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from Monday 16 March 2020, all our services including the face-to-face advice work, the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend Hayashen until further notice and call NHS 111 for advice.

However, as we wish to support you as best as we can, our advice work continues by telephone, email and online. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website ( to leave an enquiry or email us on

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The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough and shortness of breath but for full details, including Government guidelines and precautions you should take, please search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.
Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors. – 14/3/2020