WW2 History in schools?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by 17thDYRCH, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. pauldawn

    pauldawn Senior Member

    I wonder if WW1 vets were asked the same question in the 30's and 40's ?

    Who knows andy?!

    Even if they were i doubt if it would have prevented the events of 36 onwards, bacause it clearly didnt!
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Who knows andy?!

    Even if they were i doubt if it would have prevented the events of 36 onwards, bacause it clearly didnt!

    Perhaps I should have been more specific. If the children of the 30's and 40's knew or were taught at school who the 'key players' were in WW1. I was taught WW1 history when I was at School in the 80's and I don't know who the leaders were, although I may get lucky here or there with a guess.
  3. Nevil

    Nevil WW2 Veteran/Royal Signals WW2 Veteran

    This thread happened to coincide with me sending a few pictures of my father in France during WW1 to family and some friends.

    In a following discussion I quoted him as saying on one occasion that he did not like to talk about his service as it was bad enough living it without having to talk about it afterwards.

    He did talk more about it after I joined the army in September 1939.

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Paul -
    To ask any politician to actually DO anything to change anything is akin to stand on the white cliffs asking the Channel to part and allow all the euro idiocies to be sent back to Brussels - it won't happen and thus that type of education is best done at the kitchen table by a switched on Mother.

    You should buy her the book by Gen. David Fraser - on "Alanbrooke" and she will learn how WW2 was actually won and not from Hollywood ....

  5. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    I am not a vet. But

    GCES history was a joke when I went to school in the middle 90s. We were meant to be taught the module about ww2 but weren't. When we went for the exam and on the white bored in the the hall it said pick all modules apart from the ww2 one.

    Teachers are a Joke and so are exams I can pass them and I am basically illiterate.
  6. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    I wonder if WW1 vets were asked the same question in the 30's and 40's ?

    In short - yes.

    "The spirit is not the same as in 1914. Somehow one does not see in in our young people today that splendid inspiring call to the Services which we experienced in the early days of the last war." Captain Eric Jones, of Durham, made this declaration at the annual conference of the northern area of the British Legion Women's Section, at Darlington on Saturday. "It may be due to the fact," he added, " that compulsion has come in. but I do feel that the contrast is there."

    - Daily Mirror, February 5, 1940.

    Best, Alan
  7. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    I share the disgust with lack of knowledge of some of our young people.
    Amazingly I found last year that some young people I work with (a youth military style band) didn't know the words to our own National Anthem!
  8. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    I share the disgust with lack of knowledge of some of our young people.
    Amazingly I found last year that some young people I work with (a youth military style band) didn't know the words to our own National Anthem!

    I am 33 and don't.( An't there a verse about killing the Scots) I also don't know the words to the lords prey and have to pretend in church.

    We forget it is us who must teach the young and let them speak at the moot. Respect goes both ways.

    Teach them the drum beat Wotan Thunder bet you can't hehe.
  9. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The kids will never learn much about it in school. In Canada, the teachers are generally so left wing that they have really tried to turn Nov. 11th into an anti-war rally.

    As usual, parents need to do it themselves:

  10. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Wowtank, I am only talking about the first verse of our National Anthem.
    I doubt many would know any of the others - I freely admit I don't - but I am aware of the Scottish verse you mention.
  11. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Turning the 11th into an anti war rally - was that not the original sentiment - 'The war to end all wars?' I would hope that everyone is anti war. Here in the Britain we have been taken deeper into the European Union, the politicians would have it if they could to erase history, they cannot of course but they can reduce exposure to recent history in schools. All nations view history differently, we might not wish to have anothers views imposed on us, as they do not wish to hear our views. A very good friend of my fathers would never go to the Armistice services - 'I remember everyday I do not wish to display that to others'. The argument often used is - without knowledge of the past the same mistakes are made - the question might be asked when will that start to work? Centuries of conflict across Europe (Churchill the rivers of Europe running red) yet we had a world war. and in a short space of time another. The young might be forgiven for thinking that the world has not been getting it right.
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Hi Paul

    You say:

    My question to the ww2 Veterans is a simple one - Do you believe the kids of today are taught enough about the events you endured? Or may be you think 39 - 45 should now be allowed to pass into history.

    You ask a fairly simple question of a pretty limited group of forum members and, with a bit of luck, one by one we will creep out of our slit-trenches (hate the word fox-hole) to try to give you a considered answer.

    I start by saying that you might have guessed that this question had been asked before, in fact some of our kind members have already supplied you with links to similar threads, but I will try to show you the sort of thing that personally shocks me as someone who lived through the times in question.

    I'll give you the quote first and then the link to the thread on which it appeared: I confess to being one of those nerds who is always dashing off letters to the Times.

    They rarely get published................. but nevertheless I keep them in an e-mail folder marked "Letters to the press" and occasionally browse through them to see what subjects have amused/annoyed me over the years.

    Such as this letter about Monte Cassino :


    John Doughty’s salutary tale of his granddaughter asking “Who were the suffragettes” (Letters to the Editor 21st April) rang bells for me.

    I was recently round at a friends house, where I was paying my weekly visit to help him brush up his computer skills.

    He had a particular problem on his computer that needed a solution from the company that had sold him the system and I found myself, on his behalf, chatting on the phone with a British computer expert.

    When the expert proceeded to operate the PC by remote control, he was interested to see that the screen saver showed my friend visiting a war cemetery.

    I pointed out that the photo displayed was that my friend re-visiting the CWGC Cemetery at Cassino and mentioned that he and I had both served there in the same Light Ack-Ack unit .

    The conversation then went something like this:

    Expert: Where did you say that was?
    Me: Cassino
    Expert: Where's that?
    Me: May I ask how old you are?
    Expert: Thirty-nine
    Me: Are you seriously telling me that you've never heard of Cassino?
    Expert: No, where is it
    Me: Italy.... and tell me, did you not have any relatives who served in WW2?
    Expert: Yes, one in the Navy and one in the RAF, but they have both since passed away.

    I got him to promise me that he would look up "Cassino" on the internet after he had put the computer problem to rights and then when he eventually hung up my friend and I simply stared at each other.

    Please tell me that other people of a similar age group have heard of Cassino, or am I asking too much ?

    Ron Goldstein


    Back to your original question.

    I would hope that the traumatic events between 1933 and 1945 were given their rightful place in the history that is being taught within the whole spectrum of our educational system.

    As other vets will also no doubt tell you, I feel that those of us who are still here to "tell the tale" are obliged to do so, whilst we are able and whilst our memories still hold.

    It is up to forums such as this one, long may it live, to carry the torch.


  13. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria.

    All i can add to this has some of you may have seen my daughter is doing a WW1 trench for her history project with wich she has had to do a talk all about living and surviving in WW1 , and i no she is also doing WW1 in English all about the poems that were wrote in WW1, so my daughters secondry school still learns about the first world war as of yet i don't no if she will be taught anything about WW2 unfortunately.

    Regards Michael.
  14. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Earlier, I, with my two friends to help me, gave over 120 lectures, talks, and ran workshops at Schools, Colleges, and museums, indeed to a wide variety of audiences...... and to adult groups. Most of the these were after being invited.

    All this as a representative of the Normandy Veterans Association... These talks ETC were very popular.The content of the address was suited to the age of the pupils we talked to/ I still have my notes.but with the passing of my two great friends that ceased as I am unable to get around without their help. And of course age and infirmity does not help...
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Hello Paul

    The schools in the UK do teach WW1 and WW2.
    Many visit the WW1 battlefields (I have been twice with a school) along with the study of the Blitz and the why WW 2 came to be.

    I wont post links here but there are many school websites/forums on the internet with a lot of history re the conflicts.

    As with any subject it is encouraging children to learn and get them to hook into it.
    Families, friends and schools breed learning .The WW1 and WW2 conflicts are still taught,perhaps not at an in depth level but the seeds are still sown.

  16. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    In towns and villages around France, Belgium and Holland we have foreigners honouring our "Fallen"! But Heh! Whilst these French, Dutch and Belgian kids stand proud at a war memorial once or twice a year, we cant even teach the basics of these events in our schools today!!!!!!! Its utterly discraceful!!


    I can only assume from this point that you have never been to the last post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres? It's absolutely rammed most nights with coach load's of British school children. I maybe wrong but isn't the Great War and remembrance now part of the National Curriculum?
  17. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    And as an afterthought you cannot get much better in the teaching of history to younger children than the programme 'Horrid Histories' on the CBBC channel. I have a son of 7 and a daughter of 5 and it is far and away their favourite programme. I believe Stephen Fry made a programme in praise of the show that aired at peak time on a Sunday evening and I for one find it both factually correct and entertaining. Exactly how the best teachers work.
  18. Jakob Kjaersgaard

    Jakob Kjaersgaard Senior Member

    As mentioned in previous threads about this very matter I can only speak of how conditions are in Denmark. I have friends who are historyteachers and they often mention how frustrating it is to have to follow a narrow preplanned schedule created by the government. In this country it's required the children are taught about The Holocaust, Denmarks role during the war (including resistance movements, and a bit about The third reich and Hitler being the bad guy. After that there is very little time left to cover any other subjects about WW2. If further time is available the allied breakthrough in Normandy will briefly be covered.

    You can't really blame the younger generations because the various governments have made these rules. It's still a shame though. In the perfect world more history lessons would be on the schedule.

    Say what you want about hollywood but it does help create interest about WW2 and attract the youngsters to the subject and hopefully will make them want to dig further into what it's all about. I know that's how my interest started years ago.
  19. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  20. La-de-da-Gunner Graham

    La-de-da-Gunner Graham Senior Member

    My Great War history was taught in the 70's by a teacher who was most uninterested in the topic. We covered Archie Duke's assassination reasonably well and the rest of it was summed up in about 10 minutes, literally. 'We sent an army to France and there was a stalemate so they dug trenches and not a lot happened and when it did most of our shells were dud'. I think it was coming towards end of term or something but it was no excuse.

    As for the Second World War, I have talkedto some reasonably intelligent people who are completely clueless about it. I wouldnt be surprised if some people thought it was won by publishing a bunch of phone numbers and voting off the least favourite Nazi. It would probably generate more enthusiasm among some of them if it did.


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