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People's knowledge of First World War is 'limited'

Fewer than half of people in the UK realise the First World War extended beyond Europe, a new report has shown. The report calls on the UK and the rest of the world to use forthcoming centenary commemorations to help improve knowledge.

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Poll reveals public's First World War understanding

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people were surveyed online in the UK, as well as in Egypt, France, Germany, India, Russia, and Turkey about their First World War knowledge.

The poll conducted by YouGov for the British Council found:

In the UK fewer than half of the 1,081 people questioned were aware that North America and the Middle East played a part in the First World War, while less than a quarter realised that Africa and Asia were involved.

British Artilleryman during the bombardment of German trenches on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Credit: PA Wire

The research found a widespread lack of understanding about the impact of the war - while 62% of people in the UK were aware of its connection to the rise of the Nazis in Germany, far fewer (37%) were aware of the link with the rise of Communism in Russia.

Less than a third of UK respondents associated the war with the fall of the Ottoman Empire (32%) or the creation of the United Nations (27%), and just 11% were aware of its connection with the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Across the seven countries, almost three-quarters of people surveyed (72%) believed that their country was still affected by the consequences of the war, the research found.

There were a total of 7,488 responses to the poll - 1,052 in Egypt; 1,029 in France; 1,070 in Germany; 1,215 in India; 1,019 in Russia; 1,022 in Turkey and 1,081 in the UK.

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