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New report released from British Future: A Centenary Shared|Tracking public attitudes to the First World War Centenary 2013-16

Posted  14 November 2016 in News   Projects and Resources  
By Liz Robertson
Troops of the 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment marching to the trenches, 27 June 1916. Q 717

Armistice Day saw the publication of new research from British Future in partnership with the BBC, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Imperial War Museums and Commonwealth War Graves Commission, exploring public attitudes to the Centenary Commemorations of the First World War.

The report, A Centenary Shared: Tracking public attitudes to the First World War Centenary 2013-16, finds that the public increasingly rejects more politicised interpretations of the Centenary – from Michael Gove’s proposed focus on British victory to the ‘No Glory’ anti-commemoration protest of Vanessa Redgrave and Billy Bragg. Instead, at a time of heightened attention to Britain’s relations with our European neighbours after the referendum, voters on both sides of the EU debate would rather focus on reconciliation with former enemies and the opportunity to learn more about our country’s history.

It finds that 77% of the public believe it is important for integration today that children are taught about the role of Commonwealth soldiers in the First World War and our shared multi-ethnic history.

The report also finds that two years into the centenary, half of the public (51%) still wants to learn more about the First World War before the Centenary commemorations conclude, and most people (57%) feel that the First World War remains relevant in 2016. The most popular reason why is its impact on the society we live in today. 80% of people agree that the Centenary is an opportunity for schools and museums to do more to help children and people of all ages learn more about our nation’s history.

You can download a copy of the report here and read a blog containing key findings from the report on the British Future website.

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