Almost 15 million people in UK don't know if family fought in World Wars

Research conducted ahead of Remembrance Day reveals only one in three people have asked a grandparent or great-grandparent about their wartime experience.

Almost 15 million people in UK don’t know if family fought in World Wars iStock

Almost 15 million people across Britain do not know if their family have fought in a World War.

Research conducted by family history site FindMyPast has revealed that many across the country know little to nothing about the ancestors’ connections to the World Wars of the 20th Century.

New data shows that those who do know if their family served cannot name many specific details about them.

Just a quarter of those surveyed said they know the rank of their family member while 18% knew whether they were captured or spent time as a prisoner of war.

Only 12% knew if their ancestor died in the war they served in.

The research come as the country marks Remembrance Day with FindMyPast offering free access to their records this weekend to allow people the opportunity to learn more about their heritage.

The data shows that, while the majority of those surveyed (57%) admit they know little or nothing about their family’s wartime experience, three in five (60%) say it’s important to learn about their war experiences.

However, only one in three (33%) have ever asked their grandparents or great-grandparents about their wartime experience.

Researchers say the data indicates the growth of a historical knowledge gap, with 59% of people believing the nation cares less about learning about the World Wars as time passes.

Meanwhile half (50%) are worried that this family knowledge will be lost by future generations.

A further 45% say Remembrance Day inspires them to learn more about their family who served in the military.

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