UK

World War 1: Brits Unaware Of Global Efforts And Impact Of Conflict, Report Finds

11/02/2014 08:39 GMT | Updated 11/02/2014 08:59 GMT

How much do you know about the First World War?

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Trenches, the Western Front, the Somme, poison gas and young men being mowed down with industrial efficiency by newly developed machine guns.

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The devastated landscape of the trenches

But what about the impact of the war outside of Europe?

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Australian troops camp next to the pyramids in 1915

A new report from the British Council has laid bare the public's lack of knowledge of the reach and impact of the 1914-18 conflict.

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Japanese sailors docking in Tokyo during World War One, Japan

It found that in the UK, fewer than half of the 1,081 people questioned were aware that North America and the Middle East played a part in the First World War (38% and 34% respectively), while less than a quarter realised that Africa and Asia were involved (21% and 22%).

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The research 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.

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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 ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Allied troops landing on the beach at Gallipoli from the ship 'River Clyde'

John Worne, director of strategy at the British Council, said: "Our research shows that the things we in the UK know and remember the most from the First World War are the harrowing images and iconic stories from the Western Front - and rightly so.

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Picture dated 1916 of the ruined city of Verdun

"But we shouldn't forget that the war touched many other parts of the world. Far more countries fought and were affected than we generally think.

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Trench-stretcher invented by Lieutenant Chéret, France, 1915

"Even a hundred years later a person from the UK travelling for business or pleasure will find the war still influences the way people overseas view the UK.

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French army. One of the first flamethrowers used against an enemy trench. November 1915

"So 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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