Two thirds of young people in Britain do not know the dates of the First and Second World Wars, a recent Remembrance Day poll shows.

Marking a week of Remembrance

The poll sampling 2,998 people in Britain also showed that it is not just the nation’s youngsters who are ignorant about the facts. The study, arranged by ‘British Future’, shows that one in three of the general public could not name the year that the war started, while best informed age group were the over 60s.

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, said: “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.”

At KU, only five out of 28 students didn’t know when the First World War began and nearly everyone, 24 out of 28 students, knew what Remembrance Day is really about.

Felicitas, KU PGCE secondary education graduate, said: “Personally, I still don’t think students in care much about Remembrance Day, or, in fact, truly know what it is.”

Currently there are 22,547 Home/EU students and up to 2,431 Overseas students studying at KU. The majority of all those students do not wear a poppy.

“Especially as a foreign student, Poppy day is not really relevant to me or other international students, but I do relate and appreciate the day just as all the others do,” Felicitas further added.

In honor of Remembrance Sunday on November 11, all students were invited this week to visit the university’s quiet room to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in war and conflict.

Revd. Andrew Williams, KU faith advisor, said: “We have always thought it’s an important event to mark. But students feel it’s not for them. This has partly to do with a lack of awareness, knowledge and also ignorance. Remembrance day is something many students don’t connect with. This might be an age thing.”

November 11 was chosen back in 1919 as the special day when the British remember those who had died in wars. To this day, almost 100 years later, at 11am on November 11, many people across the country remain silent for two minutes to think about the victims of the First and Second World War and those who have fought in modern conflicts, too.

Leading up to it people often wear red poppies on their clothes, as poppies were flowers which grew quickly on battlefields.

Felicitas, KU graduate, concluded: “I usually don’t do anything special at Remembrance Day, although a few years ago I went to Tyne Cot cemetery in Belgium, as part of a history trip, to visit the graves of the fallen soldiers.I was also involved in a talk about Remembrance Day a few years ago at the Oxford town hall to give a foreign perspective of commemorating the dead.”   

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