Young are clueless over facts of the First World War, poll finds

 

Young people are largely ignorant about the First World War with almost two thirds not being able to name the year that the war ended, a poll has found.

And more than half (54%) of the same age group did not know when the war started (1914), according to the research from thinktank British Future.

But it is not just young people who are confused about the facts.

When asked by pollsters YouGov, members of the public hazarded guesses as wildly out as 1800 and 1950 for the start of the Great War, and 1910 and 1960 for the end date (1918).

One in three of the public could not name the year that the war started.

The best informed age group were the over 60s.

"We've found that it's not just kids, but their parents too, who don't know some of the basic facts about World War I, about the thousands of troops from Kenya and India who fought for Britain, and even the year the war started," said Sunder Katwala, director of British Future.

"The centenary (of the war) is a huge opportunity for schools and museums to do more to help our kids and all ages learn more about our nation's history.

"That's why British Future and the Citizenship Foundation hopes to work with schools on how to use 2014 to make history matter.

"Remembrance helps us to learn about our shared history, and that includes people across faith and ethnic backgrounds.

"There's no point in having a shared history if we forget about it."

The poll also found that 12% of 16 and 17 years olds thought that under 10,000 British and Commonwealth military personnel died during the First World War, far less than the 20,000 British deaths on just the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Overall two thirds of the public said they did not know roughly how many British and Commonwealth troops died in the Second World War.

About 1.1 million British and Commonwealth troops died in the war .

British and Commonwealth forces were calculated to have lost 419,654 at the Somme.

The poll was undertaken online in late October and sampled 2,998 people in Great Britain.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Loren Hughes: Senior Finance Analyst

£65,000 - £75,000: Loren Hughes: Are you a post qualified accountant? Do you h...

Loren Hughes: Commercial Finance Analyst

£55,000 - £60,000: Loren Hughes: Are you a newly qualified accountant from a B...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower