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Tuesday 29 March 2022

More than a quarter of age 18-34 do not know of Falklands War

Posted by: Help For Heroes | Categories: General

On the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, those who stepped up to serve their country all those years ago must never be forgotten.

Saturday 2 April 2022 marks the 40th Anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, a conflict that, for many of us, was the first one to happen within our own lifetimes.

For a number of the Falklands veterans whom we support, it will be a time for reflection about how they stepped up to fight on behalf of their country enduring extremely difficult conditions. It will be about remembering the impact that the conflict had on their own lives, and that of their brothers-in-arms, 255 of whom didn’t make it home. It may bring back memories and experiences that were thought to have been processed years ago which can cause distress.

In the same way that we mark Remembrance every November, anniversaries such as these are an important way to commemorate historic events and pay our respects to those who were involved in them and those who did not return home. We also believe they are a time to remember anyone who continues to live with injury or illness they suffered when serving their country – and to remind them that help is there for them and their families.

Lack of Falklands knowledge in the general population

This is why we commissioned research into the Falklands War with YouGov* as several of the Falklands veterans whom we support told us that they feel the conflict is in danger of becoming something of a ‘forgotten war’. The survey results revealed that only four per cent of all respondents were able to answer a series of questions about the Falklands War correctly.

Indeed, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Gen Zs (aged 18-24) had never heard of the conflict. Broadening the age group, nearly one-in-two (47 per cent) of those aged 18-34 did not know in which decade the Falklands War took place, while 11 per cent thought it was the UK invading the Falklands (rather than Argentina) which led to the conflict, and eight per cent thought the Falkland Islands are in the English Channel.

A map and memories of the Falklands belonging to Sue Warner, a veteran of the conflict and a Help for Heroes ambassador

A map and memories of the Falklands belonging to Sue Warner, a veteran of the conflict and a Help for Heroes ambassador

The research highlights the importance of using the Falklands Anniversary to remind (or indeed, educate) people about what happened 40 years ago, especially when we believe there are likely to be many Falklands veterans who are still battling physical or mental wounds from the conflict. We want these people, and their families, to know they will never be forgotten, and it is never too late to come forward for support, even 40 years on.

It's never too late to ask for support

Carol Betteridge, OBE, who heads up Help for Heroes’ Clinical and Medical Services, explains: “Forty years ago, the support for mental and physical wounds was less advanced and harder to access, making it difficult for veterans to get the support they needed. While there have been major improvements in Government support for veterans since then, we are concerned that veterans are falling through the gaps.

“That’s why Help for Heroes supports all wounded and sick veterans and their families, no matter when or where they served, and whether or not they served in conflict. Just because people were injured 40 years ago, doesn’t mean they don’t still need help, as recovery can take years or last a lifetime. We’re currently supporting Falklands veterans with long-term issues, including the lasting effects of trench foot and also PTSD. Every one of them deserves our help and we would urge anyone who is struggling to ask for help. We must ensure that none of them is ever forgotten.”

Any veteran who has been physically or psychologically wounded while serving in the British Armed Force can get our support, whenever and wherever they served. Visit our Get Support pages to get in touch and find out more about the different ways in which we can support you and your family.

 

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,124 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3-4 March 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

 

Get support today

If you served in the Falklands War and think you could benefit from our support, please get in touch. We help veterans no matter where or when they served, and we can help with a range of physical and mental health issues, welfare support, and a whole lot more.

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