WW1 was a conflict that brought this country to its knees.

It drained Britain of blood and treasure and left it a shadow of its former self, despite being on the winning side.

A new Ancestry.co.uk study shows that almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds in this country do not know the war took place between 1914 and 1918.

It is a revelation that will make most historians tremble with fear.

The writer and philosopher George Santayana once aptly said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Ignorance of our history is a recipe for disaster and it is one of the most convincing reasons for the subject to be taught in schools.

More than 700,000 men from the UK lost their lives in the Great War.

It left the country in turmoil and marked the end of the British Empire.

One year after the conflict was over Ireland fought for its freedom, ultimately succeeding in 1921.

Ireland's success galvanised anti-colonial movements across the empire, eventually destroying Britain's imperial project.

In the end, the cost of an empire became unsustainable.

Not only did WW1 lead to the decline and fall of Britain's colonial venture, it also caused a political shift.

People wanted a 'home fit for heroes' after the conflict, however they found that things continued much as before, following the war.

When World War Two drew to a close people remembered this and voted overwhelmingly for a Labour government that promised to deliver a welfare state which would care for all.

This is not to say that we would not have had an NHS or other security nets if there had not been a war.

But the memory of broken promises after the conflict did lead to Britain establishing a welfare state - a step which so many other countries later followed.

These are just a few ways in which the war continues to impact us today.

If we as a nation forget the devastation of the conflict we may unwittingly sleepwalk into another.

Harry Patch, the longest surviving combat soldier from WW1, warned against further bloodshed.

The Briton called the war 'organised murder' and said: "It was not worth one [life], let alone all the millions."

We must never forget his words and younger generations should remember the sacrifice of their ancestors.