Lord Ashcroft Survey: Most Young People do not Know Battle of Britain was Fought in the Air; Only One in Five Know What Happened on D-Day
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Lord Ashcroft Survey: Most Young People do not Know Battle of Britain was Fought in the Air; Only One in Five Know What Happened on D-Day

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Lord Ashcroft Survey: Most Young People do not Know Battle of Britain was Fought in the Air; Only One in Five Know What Happened on D-Day PR Newswire LONDON, June 25, 2012 LONDON, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Only just over two in five secondary school children know the Battle of Britain was fought in the air, according to a new survey conducted by Lord Ashcroft. The research also shows that only one third of children know the Second World War began in 1939, while only one in five know what happened on D-Day. The survey of 1,000 children aged 11 to 18 throughout Britain was commissioned to mark the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London, on 28 June. The Memorial honours the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives during the Second World War. The findings of the survey highlight the importance of ensuring that current and future generations remember the sacrifices made by those who served Britain in time of war. The survey found: Only 34% of children - including less than half (45%) of those aged 17-18 - knew the Second World War began in 1939. 39% knew it ended in 1945 (again including 45% of 17-18 year-olds). While 92% of children could correctly identify a picture of Churchill the insurance dog, only 62% correctly identified a photo of Sir Winston Churchill. 43% knew the Battle of Britain was fought in the air; 29% said it was fought on land, and 8% at sea. 20% said they did not know.

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Lord Ashcroft Survey: Most Young People do
not Know Battle of Britain was Fought in the
Air; Only One in Five Know What Happened on
D-Day
PR Newswire
LONDON, June 25, 2012
LONDON
,
June 25, 2012
/PRNewswire/ --
Only just over two in five secondary school children know the Battle of
Britain
was fought in the air, according to a new survey conducted by Lord Ashcroft.
The research also shows that only one third of children know the Second World
War began in 1939, while only one in five know what happened on D-Day.
The survey of 1,000 children aged 11 to 18 throughout
Britain
was
commissioned to mark the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in
Green Park,
London
, on 28 June. The Memorial honours the 55,573 men of
Bomber Command who lost their lives during the Second World War.
The findings of the survey highlight the importance of ensuring that current and
future generations remember the sacrifices made by those who served
Britain
in time of war.
The survey found:
Only 34% of children - including less than half (45%) of those aged 17-18 - knew the
Second World War began in 1939. 39% knew it ended in 1945 (again including 45% of
17-18 year-olds).
While 92% of children could correctly identify a picture of Churchill the insurance dog,
only 62% correctly identified a photo of Sir Winston Churchill.
43% knew the Battle of
Britain
was fought in the air; 29% said it was fought on land,
and 8% at sea. 20% said they did not know.
Only one third (34%) correctly said the Battle of
Britain
took place in the 1940s, and
only 11% of these - about one in 27 of the whole sample - knew it happened in 1940.
Only a fifth of children had some idea of what happened on D-Day. The most frequent
answer was that it was the day the war ended.
86% correctly said there had been two World Wars. One in twenty thought there had
been three.
Nearly a third (29%) were unable to give any unprompted explanation of why
Britain
had fought the Second World War. This included more than a fifth (21%) of those aged
17-18 and a quarter of those aged 15-16.
89% correctly named
Germany
as an adversary in the Second World War. Only 15%
named
Japan
unprompted. Nearly a quarter thought
Britain's
enemies had included
Russia
,
France
,
China
, the
USA
,
Australia
or
New Zealand
.
Only 61% correctly named the
USA
as an ally of
Britain's
in the Second World War.
One in ten thought our allies had included
Italy
,
Germany
or
Japan
.
Offered four different explanations for what Bomber Command is or was, only 36%
correctly said it had been part of the RAF.
There was some encouraging news, however: 95% correctly identified the
Royal British Legion's poppy, and 84% knew what it signified.
Commenting on the findings, Lord Ashcroft, who made a £1 million donation
towards the new Bomber Command Memorial, said:
"It is sobering to find that so many children of secondary school age simply do
not know important facts about crucial events in
Britain's
recent history. My
own father fought in D-Day, and I was keen to discover how much today's
young people know of what happened just 70 years ago.
"I don't mean to criticise the children. We must all take responsibility for
ensuring that what we know is passed to the next generation. These findings
show we can never be complacent about our duty to remember.
"One of the ways we can do this is to build lasting memorials to those who have
sacrificed so much to serve our country. That is the purpose of the Bomber
Command Memorial, which I am proud to support.
"The Memorial is long overdue. Those who flew on countless missions over Nazi
Germany
and occupied
Europe
, many of whom were barely out of their
teenage years, knew the odds were stacked against them, and many did not
return. All of us should be thankful for the sacrifice they made to ensure that
we can all live in a free society."
Notes to Editors
1,007 children aged 11 to 18 were interviewed face-to-face between 15 and
23 May
2012
. The survey was conducted throughout
Great Britain
and the results are nationally
representative. For full details of the survey please go to
http://www.lordashcroftpolls.com
.
The Bomber Command Memorial is being dedicated and unveiled in Green Park,
London
, on
28 June 2012
. The memorial honours the 55,573 men of Bomber Command
who lost their lives during the Second World War.
Lord Ashcroft is one of three major benefactors of the Bomber Command Memorial,
alongside John Caudwell and Richard Desmond. Further details of the Bomber
Command Memorial can be found at
http://www.bombercommand.com
.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
KNOWLEDGE OF WORLD WAR TWO AMONG
CHILDREN
SURVEY CONDUCTED BY LORD ASHCROFT:
JUNE
2012
1,007 children aged 11 to 18 were interviewed face-to-face between 15 and 23
May 2012. The survey was conducted throughout Great Britain and the results
are nationally representative. For full data, please go to lordashcroftpolls.com.
1. I am going to show you some photos of some people you may or
may not be familiar with. For each one, please tell me their name. If
you don't know it, that's fine.
% correctly
naming
The Queen
100%
Jedward
97%
Wayne Rooney
92%
Churchill the
insurance dog
92%
Adolf Hitler
87%
Barack Obama
86%
Katie Price
82%
David Cameron
77%
Johnny Depp
75%
Marilyn Monroe
63%
Sir Winston Churchill
62%
Albert Einstein
57%
Nick Clegg
38%
Ed Miliband
35%
2. Do you recognise this? What cause or charity does it represent?
% correctly
identifying
Royal British Legion -
Poppy Appeal
95%
Comic Relief - Red Nose
90%
Help for Heroes wristband
53%
Marie Curie Cancer Care
daffodil
39%
AIDS Awareness/World AIDS
Day
32%
3. Why do you see people wearing Poppies in November each year?
[Unprompted]
To remember those who died or were injured defending
our country
77%
To raise money for the Royal British Legion
7%
Other
10%
Don't know
6%
4. Was the Battle of
Britain
fought on air, land or sea?
Air
43%
Land
29%
Sea
8%
Don't know
20%
5. In which decade was the Battle of
Britain
?
1900s
3%
1910s
2%
1920s
5%
1930s
10%
1940s
34%
1950s
2%
Other
3%
Don't know
40%
6. And can you tell me in which year?
[All those who correctly named the
1940s]
1940
11%
1944
17%
1941
12%
1945
14%
1942
11%
1946-9
2%
1943
11%
Don't know
22%
7. How many World Wars have there been?
[Unprompted]
One
3%
Two
86%
Three
5%
Four or more
1%
Don't know
5%
8. In which year did the Second World War begin?
[Unprompted]
1950 or
Before 1930
1930-38
1939
1940s
after
Don't know
4%
8%
34%
13%
3%
38%
Less than half of respondents aged 17-18 knew that the Second World War began in
1939 (45%).
9. And in which year did it end?
[Unprompted]
1945
Another year
Don't know
39%
21%
40%
Again, only 45% of those aged 17-18 knew the Second World War ended in 1945.
10. Why did
Britain
fight the Second World War?
To stop the Germans/Hitler
18%
Germany / Hitler invaded other countries
15%
Britain was bombed / to defend Britain
12%
Germany / Hitler invaded Poland
10%
Because of Hitler / Germany / the Nazis
5%
Innocent people were being killed / concentration camps
5%
Germany / Hitler wanted world domination / revenge for World War
One
4%
Other countries went to war against Germany / Hitler, and we were
allies with these other countries
3%
Hitler was evil
1%
Germany started a war
1%
A treaty was broken
1%
Other
3%
Don't know
29%
More than a fifth (21%) of those aged 17-18 were unable to give a reason why
Britain
fought the Second World War. A quarter of those aged 15-16 (25%) were unable to do
so.
11. Whom did
Britain
fight against
in the Second World War? And who
else?
[Unprompted]
Germany
89%
Japan
15%
Russia / The Soviet
Union
13%
Italy
9%
France
6%
China
2%
America / The USA
1%
Australia / New
Zealand
1%
Other
4%
Don't know
8%
12. Who were
Britain
's allies
in the Second World War? And who else?
[Unprompted]
America / The USA
61%
France
44%
Russia / The Soviet
Union
13%
Australia / New
Zealand
9%
Italy
7%
China
2%
Germany
2%
Japan
1%
Other
7%
Don't know
21%
Nearly one in ten (9%) of those in Year 13 (aged 17-18) were unable to name any of
Britain's
allies in the Second World War. 13% of those in Years 11 and 12 were unable
to do so, as were nearly a quarter (23%) of those in Year 10 (aged 14-15).
13. What happened on D-Day?
The war was declared over / Germany was defeated / Germany
surrendered
19%
Allied forces crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches
of Normandy / France was invaded
16%
A day lots of soldiers died
4%
Troops were brought home from the war / rescued
3%
A big battle
2%
Germany bombed / invaded Britain
1%
Other
6%
Don't know
50%
40% of those aged 17-18 said they didn't know what happened on D-Day.
14. During the last, just over 400 members of our
Armed Forces have died in
Afghanistan
. How many of
the British military do you think died during the six
years of the Second World War?
0 - 1,000
10%
1,001 - 10,000
20%
10,000 - 50,000
8%
50,000 - 100,000
8%
100,000 -
500,000
8%
More than
500,000
14%
Don't know
32%