Young are clueless over facts of the First World War, poll finds
Sunday 04 November 2012
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.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...