Have we turned our backs on our past?

Turning our backs on Britain's fallen | Mail Online

We've all seen the news headlines such as '99.9% of kids think Churchill is a nodding dog' or '0.0001% of kids actually know we were in WW2'.

So should there be a drive on informing the kids about the Wars we've fought?

We've had a drive on getting the stories fromt eh last of the Tommies before they go, I'll assume we'll have another drive on getting the stories from our WW2 Tommies afore they go too.

We've had concerted efforts to film teh Antarctic, but apart from World At War have we had any definitive, contempory shows on WW2, WW1 and others?

Should we ensure that our kids are taught about what the War Memorials are? Why they are there? Who they remember to us?

And, ever important in this modern age, who/how pays?
Without googling give me 10 of the major battles of theECW, increbibly important to the Britain we live in today, don't get wound up about kids not getting all blearly eyed when they hear the roar of a Merlin, kids are kids.
I would but I have to admit that I don't know what you are on about?

Ok, I googled 'battles of ECW' to figure out what you wanted.

Powick Bridge.

Edge Hill


Marston Moor

Beacon Hill



Sourton Down.

That's all I can manage wth out further googley woogliey... but to be honest, I probably knew more when I was reading up on the English Civil War.

I don't think they should be getting moist at the sound of Merlin, or even name 10 battles from teh war. But a little knowledge of why the battles were fought, and by whom wouldn't go a miss.

Failing that, and I have put this forward before, as well as an Age thing on the front of the DVD/Movie/TV Programe there should be a 'fidelity' rating. Dambusters would get about 8 out of 10, Braveheart would get 4 and U-571 would get -3.

Except if they've renamed n***er... then Dambusters drops to 0 fideltiy.
I don't know how kids miss it, you can't turn on Discovery or the History Channel without something being on. If it wasn't for wars the channels wouldn't exist.
It's maybe just a symptom of times moving on. How many of the people who fought WW2 could reel off the important battles of the Civil War by heart? How many of the people who fought the Civil War could reel off the battles of the Wars of the Roses by heart? How many of those who fought the Wars of the Roses knew or even cared about the battles between the pre-unification English kingdoms? Yet all of these have shaped the world we live in to a great extent.

As history recedes into the past, it loses it's immediate importance to the people of today and its relevance to their lives. Plus ca change.
I don't know how kids miss it, you can't turn on Discovery or the History Channel without something being on. If it wasn't for wars the channels wouldn't exist.
I think the problem might be in years to come with most history on telly being somewhat America centirc Britains War will be largely forgotten ( bit like the 14th Army tbh) I wouldn't get all het up mind about most kids not knowing who Churchill was, most kids couldn't tell you who David Cassidy was either, but can tell you what JLS' lead singers faviroute colour is. It's just time moves on.
I don't know how kids miss it, you can't turn on Discovery or the History Channel without something being on. If it wasn't for wars the channels wouldn't exist.
To busy watching pop factor, stoking their dreams of inadequacy...

I used to like it when we had Sky in the Ops Room, esp on a morning or weekend shift... or a night shift. Just watch History, the Discovery... in about 8 hours you've watched both channels. (do they still do a rolling 4 hour broadcast?)

Besides, both channels are quite American centric. Google the youtube of Bismark... yes, I know it's a German ship, but the role of the RN was quite overlooked... apart from when HMS Hood blew up, or they lost her on radar!
I think understanding our history is extremely important. The last 10-15 years have seen a bastardisation of it in ways which may only lead to potential long-term harm to our future as a country. I do not know of any of other country which deliberately avoids it's past in such a manner. It seems these days our kids are being brought up to view most of our past with shame. I can only put this down to the politically correct stupidity of the types in a position of responsiblity within our institutions.

History is a fascinating subject, but like most topics, it really will only grab a minority who will develop a deeper interest. These days immediacy has more priority regardless of how what has happened before impacts us all now.

On the Isle of Man there was a project where WW2 veterans went around all the schools to recount their experiences with some groups being adopted by specific schools. This was tied in with the history of that period. It clearly worked as when I attended the funeral of one such man there a few years ago, I encountered a large attendance from one of the schools. These kids knew their stuff - truly impressive. There was very little cost involved since it was part of the school curriculum and those veterans attending did not expect any compensation for their time or expenses.

I believe if the quality of education is present then the seeds planted will take root. Unfortunately what passes for education these days is quite pathetic.

Perhaps we, as a country, do not like to dwell on the early part of the 20th century because of the really devastating impact it had on every community in the land. I can't imagine what that would have been like. To recover from WW1 and then become involved again in another global war with WW2 must have been shattering to many.

Edited to add - If we want a specific period to catch the imagination well, perhaps a series as good as "The World At War" is needed. Sadly the people aren't available but the rest is but I do not believe the ability is there to really provide a good in depth series like that was.
I don't know how kids miss it, you can't turn on Discovery or the History Channel without something being on. If it wasn't for wars the channels wouldn't exist.
I thought that was Liverpool FC's channel. :)
History is a fascinating subject, but like most topics, it really will only grab a minority who will develop a deeper interest. These days immediacy has more priority regardless of how what has happened before impacts us all now.
I don't beleive it will only grab a minority. If taught well, it will grab a lot more.

Case in point. I taught a drill lesson (yes, a fcuking drill lesson) and to make it interesting I threw in all manner of historical references. This was on an ACF Outreach week, to those kids who have low esteem, disconected from peers etc.

It transpired that not only had I managed to ignite their interest in drill, but also history if only for a short while. They loved the bits about sgts to the rear, shooting in lines, drummer boys, flags, the Glosters about facing and seeing off cavalry, how a battalion faced cav in squares, French Columns and all that good stuff.

Ok, I might have bashed the French repeatedly during hte lesson but fcuk 'em, they're French.

I had quite a bit of interest when canoing and walking as well, by telling of bits of local history, folklore and nature.

It isn't the subject... it's the teacher/instructor.
Hang on, nothing wrong with a spot of poppy day but the Krauts are always complaining that the Brits are unhealthily obsessed with WWII. They have a point, it's a bit like Southern Septics and the Civil War the British media endlessly bombards the population with documentaries and dramas about the period, you can hardly escape the Nazis in an evening of TV. Protestant N.Ireland is different, my lot are still somewhat more obsessed with WWI and the Somme.

It's things like the cultural importance of the KJV, the glorious revolution, or the empire that seem woefully neglected not the 20th centuries wars. It might be better for Brits if there was a bit less nostalgia for six years of national unity more than six decades ago and a bit more concentration on generating a patriotic feeling of community in the present day.
WW1 was quite a turning point in global history, even without taking the war in to that much account.

Likewise, however, is not the Weimar Repulic and te Beer Keller Putschs an imporrtant warning from the past?

'To save our future, we must learn about the past!!!' as a theme tune to a cartoon once went. No idea which one.
I think Mikal has a point insofar as there has been a PC attitude to some history, particularly when there is a military theme to it. I also believe that there are some teachers who have been indoctrinated with the PC attitude to history i.e abolition of slavery/ tollpuddle matyrs good. WW1/WW2 not so good. Despite the fact that the RN upheld the abolition of slavery with roundshot and canister. Such is the nature of brutal reality. My cadet unit is based in a school, we have a notice board up which until recently had a schematic of the L98A2 in it amongst posters of canoeing and adventure training etc, just a schematic in the same way as you see in haynes manuals for cars.
One of the teachers complained that it was "inappropriate" and we had to subsequently remove it. This is despite the fact that most of the kids will play on 18 themed games at home like C.O.D. I would not have minded if the individual in question had approached myself or the other instructor directly and given us the opportunity to explain the ethos behind teaching weapons and why it is in the syllabus, but they obviously had a preconception without bothering to look deeper.
I think that military history inculcates similar preconceptions amongst some in the teaching profession and the wider left leaning media especially given the recent military conflicts that the country has been involved in.
Hmmm, to be fair, I tried this edumacating the kids on their history thing.

Took my daughter to the Gurkha Museum, where we went through the info on the first Afghan War, then the Second Afghan war, then the third Afghan war..

She says "Dad, surely we should have learned something by now"

Have to admit, I was properly stumped at that one!
It breaks my heart to think that the majority of our young society don't care a flying **** about the past..... Computer games, getting pissed, having sex, getting high, trying to be the number1 Facebook shit and getting rich are far more important on one's personal agenda.

Some of these points may also apply to mature adults too! :)

Only the wise know that the events of the past have shaped our today!
History and its teaching is very important... but not to get all patriotic and ignore the bits where the nation fucked up or were horribly beasted etc... history is about teaching kids to read a tract, identify the bias within it and comment upon the themes etc that applied at the time it was written as a source document.

Heritage is all about getting misty eyed over the sound of a merlin... dont get confused with history which is an analytical skill.

had the battle of Britain been fought at 30 000 feet , without a turbo engine, or in an airspace a bit closer to the continent the RAF would have lost.
Article in one of the papers today regarding the visit of Hollande to the British war graves in France on the anniversary of D Day (first one ever by a French president, apparently). Seems most of the British visitors now want to see the American landing areas as they have been brought up on a diet of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers etc. That the French have virtually ignored the British (and Canadian) contributions to D Day and used to give the credit to the Americans seems to be rubbing off onto the American film and TV raised youth of Britain as well.
We'll soon be at the stage when WW2 veterans will be throwing off this mortal coil and will be wheeled out at Remembrance Parades as the last of the few. My Dad left school at 14 and went straight into the Merchant Navy. He was celebrating his 17th birthday the day WW2 broke out and that makes him 90 this year. He went through the war mainly on minesweepers and minelayers (including the Atlantic convoys, the Murmansk run and the D Day landings). He never talked to me about it very much but I am pleased that my grandkids (his great grandkids) ask him about his experiences and he seems happy to talk about it to them. A bit of military type humour seems to pepper his talks which is great as I feel the experiences were still a little close to home for him when I was young and he was reluctant to talk about it to me but appears to have put that behind him when chatting to the great grandkids.

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