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 Post subject: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:00 am 
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Possibly showing my age here, but I was a little taken aback by this clip from The Apprentice, in which contestants express uncertainty about the years in which the Second World War started and ended.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07s9hwj
I’m not looking to demonise these young men and women, and in fairness they do initially get it right. It feels like such basic historical knowledge for my generation (born in the 1970s), that you take it for granted. Is it surprising, or is it inevitable that it’ll fade from public consciousness in the coming decades?

Realistically, how many people of any age in the UK could now give the start and end years for the Boer War, or the Crimean War or the year of the Battle of Waterloo, off the top of their heads? And being honest, I have just had to check whether the Falklands was in ‘82 or ‘83, and I saw the news coverage myself as a child.

Ultimately, is it even natural and healthy that it eventually comes to be viewed like those earlier conflicts? Although I appreciate the difference in scale, obviously.

The Orange Walks commemorating a battle that took place in 1690 look a little strange to me in the 21st century, for example.






'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:34 am 
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As a child of the 50s/60s I was brought up on a diet of Airfix models and war comics such as the Victor and Hotspur. Consequently, my knowledge of the war is pretty good albeit my knowledge of German is limited to "Actung Spitfire". At the time it didnt seem odd to be fed with so much propaganda, after all we won the war -didnt we? Looking back now it all seems a bit strange and even stranger that so many of the pro brexit crowd appear to have resurrected the language and this one sided view of the war.

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:59 am 
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silver2 wrote:As a child of the 50s/60s I was brought up on a diet of Airfix models and war comics such as the Victor and Hotspur. Consequently, my knowledge of the war is pretty good albeit my knowledge of German is limited to "Actung Spitfire". At the time it didnt seem odd to be fed with so much propaganda, after all we won the war -didnt we? Looking back now it all seems a bit strange and even stranger that so many of the pro brexit crowd appear to have resurrected the language and this one sided view of the war.

Typical, a thread about rememberance (and it isn't just WW1 and the sequel) and someone brings brexit into it. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:55 am 
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IR80 wrote:Typical, a thread about rememberance (and it isn't just WW1 and the sequel) and someone brings brexit into it. :roll:


And the title of the thread is "lest we forget", primarily about the first and second world war which just in case you had forgotten, Europe has managed to avoid major conflict since the EU "joined together" - try and remember that if it ever splinters.

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:40 pm 
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I was born in 1960; WW2 always seemed a world away in time & effect. It now amazes me to think it was ended only 15 years before that, & it is strange how little my family really talked about it, despite my Dad & all my Uncles going to war & returning. I guess our area of Yorkshire got off relatively lightly. I think that experience & the fact that we 'won' has a significant effect on attitudes today.
As regards the Boer War, Crimean War or the Battle of Waterloo - I would struggle to even say which century the latter 2 were in.






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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:26 pm 
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tigertot wrote: I think that experience & the fact that we 'won' has a significant effect on attitudes today.


As in your case, my dad and uncles were also involved in the fighting during WW2 and two of those uncles never returned. However, in spite of that my dad never used any of jingoistic language that has become so common over the last 3 years. Consequently, I feel that the 'significant effect' you refer to hasn't been handed down by the veterans but rather resurrected by people who have never experienced the horrors of war.

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:50 pm 
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silver2 wrote:As in your case, my dad and uncles were also involved in the fighting during WW2 and two of those uncles never returned. However, in spite of that my dad never used any of jingoistic language that has become so common over the last 3 years. Consequently, I feel that the 'significant effect' you refer to hasn't been handed down by the veterans but rather resurrected by people who have never experienced the horrors of war.

Undoubtedly. Those I have come across who talk about the war were not involved or didn't experience the real horrors of war. It's probably been the same 1066, with a sector of society suggesting our superiority over those we have fought or conquered.






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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:31 pm 
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tigertot wrote:As regards the Boer War, Crimean War or the Battle of Waterloo - I would struggle to even say which century the latter 2 were in.

You are probably the best argument against a comprehensive education system that I have come across. :D

But seriously, really? You couldn't name the century? :EH:

Hint: they were all within a 100 years of one another and almost within the same century (and there were 2 Boer Wars).

Even with my casual interest in history I could probably name and roughly date the majority of significant conflicts across the globe going back to the Punic Wars. That's not me being a smartarse, I assumed most reasonably intelligent adults above a certain age could do the same to one degree or another.

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:52 pm 
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silver2 wrote:As a child of the 50s/60s I was brought up on a diet of Airfix models and war comics such as the Victor and Hotspur. Consequently, my knowledge of the war is pretty good albeit my knowledge of German is limited to "Actung Spitfire". At the time it didnt seem odd to be fed with so much propaganda, after all we won the war -didnt we? Looking back now it all seems a bit strange and even stranger that so many of the pro brexit crowd appear to have resurrected the language and this one sided view of the war.

You sound like one of those whining remainers who bang on about how "leavers just think they can go back to the days of the Empire". A large heavy fish to the face is the only solution when confronted with that level of debate.

Although through the 70s/80s, I was also brought up on war comics and films, and loved dressing up as a soldier with my replica gun running round shooting Krauts and Nips. Bear in mind boys have played soldiers throughout human history...until the last few years (toy guns=baaad, Call of Duty=yeah no bother :EH:). I don't see it as propaganda even now, simply stories for children told by men who were probably involved in, or at least lived through WW2. The likes of the wonderful Charley's War were anything but jingoistic propaganda.

It's easy to pass comment without appreciating the scale and devastating impact of both World Wars on the UK. **Yes I am fully aware other countries suffered and some suffered far, far more - but before a wave of whataboutery hits me, we are discussing the UK here** In my view we have every right to tell stories about what were after all the two biggest and most significant events in human history, in which we were major players and endured some horrific times before emerging victorious. Call it bragging rights, whatever. Just don't try and be too pompous and angle it as propaganda.

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 Post subject: Re: Lest we forget
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:16 pm 
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For anybody who wants to brush up on our history of violence:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_wars

And, in good QI style, an article on the end signing of the peace treaty to end the Third Punic War... in 1985.
https://apnews.com/9b6f6f5ba5be2408ff0502c7fb8abd5b






'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.

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