Travel survey exposes lack of knowledge of past conflicts

Despite more people travelling to the European battlefields than ever before, a recent poll by Leger Holidays suggests that UK awareness about the World Wars is in decline. 

A British WWI military cemetery in Belgium.
A British WWI military cemetery in Belgium.

Research undertaken by the escorted tour operator shows that a third of people (29 per cent) weren’t even aware that 2014 was the start of the centenary of WWI. Half of people surveyed also claimed to know nothing about the First World War and 3 million say they’ve never even heard of it.

Paul Reed, Head Battlefields Guide, Leger Holidays, said: “I was shocked by this recent poll and still can’t believe the findings which say that interest is dying. I would actually say it is higher than ever before but we are in danger of not harnessing the recent interest and ensuring it spreads across all audiences and age groups. With so many special Battlefield anniversaries in recent times Britons have been given a reason to engage and the feedback has been astounding. Our challenge is now to embrace that and ensure the message is heard throughout the year, not just when a historic date is pending.”

The Leger Holidays research also revealed that over a third (37 per cent) don’t know if any of their family members were involved in the First World War.

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