'Battle of the Lys: Officer of the Battle Headquarters Section, 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, writing a report near Meteren on 16 April 1918', courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, © IWM, Q 6534

Argument about the history of the First World War breaks out between British politicians

Posted on centenarynews.com on 05 January 2014
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An argument about the history of the First World War has erupted between the Education Secretary for England, Michael Gove, and the Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt.

In an article written for The Daily Mail by Mr. Gove, entitled Why does the Left insist on belittling true British heroes?, he stated that "Because the challenges we face today [have parallels with those which caused the First World War]... it is important that we commemorate, and learn from, [the] conflict in the right way in the next four years".

The Education Secretary continued that: "Our understanding of the war has been overlaid by misunderstandings, and misrepresentations which reflect an, at best, ambiguous attitude to this country and, at worst, an unhappy compulsion on the part of some to denigrate virtues such as patriotism, honour and courage".

The Shadow Education Secretary, Labour's Tristram Hunt, who is also a historian, condemned Mr. Gove's comments as "crass" and "shocking".

Writing in The Observer, Mr. Hunt accused Mr. Gove and the Conservative Party of "using this year's anniversary [the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War] to sow division with ugly attacks on "leftwing academics"" and of "using history" for political point scoring.

To read Mr. Gove's article, visit The Daily Mail website here.

To read Mr. Hunt's article, visit The Observer website here.

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News