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World war when?

3rd September 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

Today (3rd September) is the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, when Neville Chamberlain delivered news of the declaration of war against Nazi Germany to the nation. 80 years on, and research from Ancestry® has found less than half (47%) of the British public are able to correctly identify the date of the anniversary, with a quarter (27%) admitting they ‘don’t know’ when then war started.

Furthermore, two in five (42%) believe that Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister who declared war, when it was Neville Chamberlain, while three in five (57%) were unable to name the reigning monarch at the time (King George VI). Despite having living relatives who are old enough to remember the event (34%), Brits are unaware of what their family was doing or how they reacted to the news (49%) of the declaration of war against Nazi Germany.

Aston spoke to Russell James, DNA and family history expert from ancestry to help shine a light on the plight that many of our relatives faced just 80 years ago.