LifeBook War Stories

67% Regret Not Writing Down War Stories

Only 8% have recorded their grandparents’ war stories for future generations

As we approach Remembrance Day, it is a time to remember our loved ones and countrymen but it has been revealed that despite 64% of Brits being told war stories by a parent or grandparent, only 8% of us have recorded them for future generations – important historical events and anecdotes that will soon be lost forever.

2014 marks the centenary of the First World War and as we enter this memorial year, we want to be able to share the stories of those times with our friends and family. 69% of us think we can remember them but haven’t put pen to paper yet almost 1 in 5 have forgotten them completely and missed the chance to write them down. As a result, 62% of Brits really regret not recording these stories when they had the chance.

In a poll of 2,000 people, the bespoke autobiography service LifeBook UK, which allows you to share your life stories with your loved ones, has further revealed the one life lesson that over 65s would pass down to their grandchildren and younger family members: “Always be yourself” with the second most important piece of advice being “Spend as much time as you can with friends and family”. Other valuable life lessons include “Never go to sleep on an argument”, “Never buy anything until you can pay for it in full” and “Talk to your grandparents and share their memories while you can”.

Grandparents today have become great advice-givers who can tackle a host of our problems, acting as our counselors, financial advisers and life coaches. The top three most commonly shared issues with our grandparents are helping with school/university work (43%), money worries (42%) and career advice (40%). Almost 1/3 of Brits (31%) also go straight to their grandparents for advice on their love lives.

Despite this, only 4% of people view grandparents as the first port of call for advice, something that the post-retirement population wants to change. Almost 3/4 of over 65s (73%) wish younger family members would come to them if they had money worries, 69% want to help them make the right career choices and 61% want them to feel they can share and ask for advice on medical problems.

Roy Moëd, Founder, LifeBook UK says: “We can learn so much from our grandparents and elder family members and it is important to get these life lessons, anecdotes and stories down on paper to preserve for future generations. The centenary of the First World War is a reminder that we won’t have the celebrated veterans of the Second World War forever, so we need to preserve these stories now, not just for our families to treasure but also to form an important document of social history.”

Dr Lynda Shaw, Director of Successful Ageing, LifeBook UK added: “Health secretary Jeremy Hunt recently said that we have perhaps 800,000 ‘chronically lonely’ people in our country, with many of them pensioners. Remembrance Day is the perfect time of year to remember our veterans and the older members of our families and community and everything they have done for us. It shouldn’t just be for a day though. We can all constantly benefit from listening to the experience and wisdom from the older generation, not to mention simply enjoying each other’s company.”

Feature photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash