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Keep the Memories Alive - News

The youth today and WW2

Younger generations are an important link to ensuring that family memories are not lost for future generations but recent research by Leger found some alarming results. We surveyed a panel of 1,000 under 16 year olds to find out their thoughts on the past. Read on to find out more...

World War Three Has Already Happened According To Kids Today

New research reveals an increasing knowledge gap in the under 16s and that future generations are at risk of losing important details of their family history

  • 22% of under-16s don’t know if their family members were involved in WW2
  • 13% of children learn about WW2 from films or computer games
  • 27% of children under-16 aren’t bothered if stories about their family’s war experiences are forgotten
  • 13% of under-16s think World War Three has happened and see memorabilia about this important period of history.

Future generations risk losing important details about their family history according to new research by battlefield holiday specialist Leger Holidays.

With a startling knowledge and generation gap beginning to emerge, just over half (56%) of under-16s claim to have learnt the facts about WW2 from text books in school, less than a third (26%) have spoken with family members about their own experiences and memories and 22% have no idea if their family was even involved in WW2.

What is more, over a quarter (27%) of children under-16 claim to be indifferent or wouldn’t care if stories about their family’s experiences in past world wars were forgotten.

The results contrast greatly to responses from an older age group who have relied mainly on stories from their own family for their knowledge about WW2 (43%) and would feel a greater sense of loss if these personal stories were lost.

Findings also reveal a significant generation gap when it comes to communicating with elderly relatives with the under-16s preferring to stick to conversation about their own news (57%), compared to stories from the past (26%). In contrast 45% of the adults questioned prefer to spend time talking to family about past events.

The research was commissioned by battlefield holiday specialist Leger Holidays in the lead-up to the 65th anniversary of the D-Day Landings to gain a younger generation’s perspective on history’s important conflicts and world wars. As a result of the findings, Leger has launched a campaign called ‘Keep the Memories Alive’, to ensure that personal stories, memories, anecdotes and memoirs from the World Wars are never forgotten.

Leger is urging the UK to take the time to talk to their elderly relatives and learn about their family's involvement in the World Wars and then share these stories with the nation at "Keep the Memories Alive".

All submissions will be kept online for other people to view, with the site intended to provide a long lasting resource for schools, history enthusiasts and family members. As part of the campaign, Leger is also developing a directory of expert veterans which can be used by teachers as a living resource for schools.

Paul Reed, Leger’s leading Battlefield expert, said: “For many younger people, the Second World War will seem like a long time ago, let alone the First World War, and it can be hard for this generation to relate to their family’s experiences. We want to bridge this generation gap by encouraging as many people as possible to find out a unique story about the war and then share it with the nation online. We really hope that this campaign will inspire people to delve into their family’s history – I’m sure that many people will be surprised at what they discover.”

Keep the Memories Alive

An introduction to Keep the Memories Alive.

Survey Results

UK fails to know its VE Day from its D-Day.


Collection of memories from World War 2

Get Involved

Keeping your memories alive online


All the latest Keep the Memories Alive News


Photo memories from the past & present.

Suggested Reading

A selection of books and website articles.