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Half of UK think First World War was only in Europe

Fewer than half of people in the UK realise the First World War extended beyond Europe, a report published today shows.

Most people's knowledge of the Great War, which began 100 years ago, is limited to fighting on the Western Front, according to research by the British Council.

The document, Remember The World As Well As The War, reveals a lack of understanding of the global scale and impact of the war, and calls on the UK and the rest of the world to use forthcoming centenary commemorations to help people gain a better understanding of the global nature of the conflict.

The report was produced from an online survey of 7488 people in the UK, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Russia, and Turkey.

It found that in the UK, fewer than half of those questioned were aware North America and the Middle East played a part in the war (38% and 34% respectively), while less than a quarter realised Africa and Asia were involved (21% and 22%).

It also found a widespread lack of understanding about the impact of the war - while 62% of people in the UK were aware of its connection to the rise of the Nazis in Germany, far fewer (37%) were aware of the link with the rise of Communism in Russia.

Less than a third of UK respondents associated the war with the fall of the Ottoman Empire (32%) or the creation of the United Nations (27%), and just 11% were aware of its connection with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

John Worne, of the British Council, said: "Knowing a little about the global reach of the conflict and its lasting effects will help anyone better understand and navigate the many different reasons people from other countries see us as they do."

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Local government

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