WW1 coverage ‘uniting Britain’

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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The commemoration of the First World War has increased the public’s knowledge of the conflict and brought people in Britain together, according to research.

It suggests that the centenary, marking the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, has also led to increased interest in researching family histories.

A new survey, commissioned by the British Future think tank, found that 77% of people now know that war was declared in 1914.

A separate poll conducted two years ago found that 66% knew the correct date, British Futures said.

In total, 69% of adults now know that the First World War ended in 1918, compared to 56% two years ago.

The latest survey, which questioned more than 2,000 adults, also found that more than half (57%) are hoping to learn more about the conflict over the next four years.

Half of those polled (50%) said that commemorating the Great War has helped bring people in Britain together, while around a third (32%) said it had brought people together in their own local area.

And more than one in four (28%) said that the centenary has made them more likely to find out more about the involvement of their own family or local community in the conflict.

Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, said: “We came together as a country in August to learn and to remember – as we will again on Remembrance Day next month.

“This was quite possibly one of the biggest exercises in public education this century. At a time when we still hear a lot about public discourse dumbing down, it’s hugely encouraging to see such big increases in public knowledge and a real appetite to learn more over the next four years.”

:: The latest poll was carried out for British Futures by YouGov and questioned 2,046 adults between August 27-28.

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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