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CENTENARY OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR, 1914 - 1918

Debate over presentation of history by comedians

"Black Adder" and its ilk are definitely not suitable for schools according to UK Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Professorial historians agree with this main thrust saying that there is plenty of other much more suitable material available for dissemination in schools.

However Cambridge historian Professor Richard Evans also attacked Mr Gove’s interpretation of the war, saying he was ‘peddling his own political myths’.

Professor Evans said: ‘He wants to argue Britain was fighting for democracy but he has obviously forgotten that Britain’s main ally was Tsarist Russia – a despotism far greater than anything in the Kaiser’s Germany'

'You also have to remember that only 40 per cent of adult men had the vote in Britain.

'The war was a very complex set of circumstances and it is wrong of Mr Gove to reduce it to patriotic tub-thumping that we should support the soldiers.

'Of course no one wants to belittle their heroism and self-sacrifice, but we have to look at the war in the round and the long term.’

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