I recently ran a poll on this blog voicing my concerns that the Centenary commemoration was, apparently, getting a low priority from the Scottish Government amongst other parties.
I am delighted that 111 of you took the time to fill in the survey and giving me an insight into what was happening on a national and international basis.
So here are the results to the 10 questions I asked.
Do you know it’s the Centenary of WW1 in 2014?
Yes 110 – No 1
A good start, public awareness seems not to be a problem.
Did a member of your family serve in WW1?
Yes 97 – No 14
A high percentage 87% had a family member who served in the Great War.
How many members of your family served?
I used this question and questions 4 and 5 to assess the impact of WW1 on the extended family tree.
4 or more – 36%
2 – 20%
Don’t know 12%
1 – 11%
3 – 11%
None – 9%
Interesting that 4 or more was the most popular answer, showing the heavy involvement of the nation in the war effort.
What relation were they to you?
Great Uncle – 31%
Grandfather – 28%
Great Grandfather – 10%
Father – 5%
Grandmother – 1%
Great Grandmother 1%
A significant percentage of those taking part, 5%, were the children of WW1 servicemen.
Did any of your relatives die in WW1?
Yes 59% – No 41%
Six out of ten people taking part had a relative killed during the war.
I then moved on to the Centenary events themselves and public awareness, perception and opinion.
Do you know of any Centenary Events in your area?
Yes 23% – No 77%
Three out of four do not know of any events in their area.
Who is running the event?
There are no events in my area 70%
Local council 6%
Non UK Government 6%
Individual member of public or group of people 6%
Veterans Organisation other than British Legion 5%
Scottish Government 4%
Royal British Legion 2%
UK Government 1%
“Province of West-Flanders has put up a special commemoration committee. with as coordinator: Mr. Paul Breyne retired Gouverner to the King of the province of West-Flanders.In cooperation with the town councils of every city who was involved in the 1st WW, there will be commemorations of every big battle for over the 4 successive years to start in 2014: the first battle of Ypres. And so on until 2018.
Poperinge town council,Ypres town council.”
“I have also heard mention of the Centenary via the ‘Press’ etc but do not know of any confirmed celebration here in Australia as yet.”
“I AM A MEMBER OF THE CAMERONIANS (SCOTTISH RIFLES) ASSOC., AND THE WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION AND AM INVOLVED IN CREATING A CENTENARY EVENT.”
“I haven’t heard of anything official as yet but I am sure the British Legion will be doing something – with a little push from myself and Golspie Heritage Society.”
“There are several centenary events being organized by Heritage Lottery Fund funded groups working with Leeds University and Leeds City Council as part of a programme led by the university in partnership with the council.”
“Aberdeen Family History Society are already having articles in their 4 times a year journal. They will have talk(s).
The Gordon Highlanders Museum will have events.”
If there was an event in your area would you attend?
Yes 95% – No 5%
There appears to be an enthusiasm for events amongst those that responded.
Who do you think should be organising events?
UK Government 13%
Scottish Government 11%
Local Councils 4%
Community Councils 3%
Armed Forces 3%
A combination of the above 64%
It’s clear that the majority of people, around two out of three, feel the Centenary should be an event should be marked by a broad cross-section of the community and organisations. Around a quarter thought that Government should be taking a lead.
Here are some of the comments made
“The Great War does not belong to any one group. All were affected, and all should be part of the Commemoration.”
“Seems to me there should be a mixture – national events, organised by government, and smaller local ones organised by communities, schools, churches – any person or group of people who want to mark the centenary”
“The last survivor of WW1 Harry Patch, described it as organised murder. We should celebrate the end of WW1 not the beginning.”
“Should be involvement across wide spectrum of Scottish society. Schools, libraries, community groups, local history groups should be researching the people who fought and what happened at home during the war. Councils and government should ensure the centenary commemoration events take place in appropriate locations on appropriate dates. Armed Forces and British Legion should be involved in the commemorative events.”
“It would be awful if the centenary became a four year long Remembrance Sunday.”
“Impetus should come from Scottish government, providing guidance and finding for local organisations.
And the final question
Finally where do you live?
I don’t live in the UK 21%
Northern Ireland 1%