News today shows that schools may not to be teaching children sufficiently about the Second World War and the events that surround it.
A poll of 2000 children, aged nine to fifteen, was conducted by a Scottish charity, Erskine, which provides nursing and medical care for veterans, and says it will now take part in a nationwide scheme to educate schoolchildren about the two world conflicts.
Some of the figures are genuinely shocking, but remind us, that unless we actively engage young people in understanding history, ‘we shall remember them,’ may not be a phrase that Britons use forever. I, more than once, have been asked, by young people, why we wear poppies at this time of year.
- 1 in 6 thought Auschwitz was a World War II theme park
- 1 in 20 thought Adolf Hitler was a German football coach
- 1 in 20 thought The Holocaust was a celebration at the end of the war
- 1 in 10 thought The SS stood for Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven
- 1 in 12 though The Blitz was a big cleanup at the end of the war
Of the children surveyed, 40% said they did not know when Remembrance Day was, but thankfully 70% of the children surveyed said they wanted to learn more about the two wars in school.
There is hope then.
But, the work that Harry Patch and Henry Allingham both engaged in, as First World War veterans, should be encouraged in present day veterans, and they should go into schools to tell them more about our history, from the wars of the 20th Century and those of the 21st Century.
There’s more in The Telegraph here.