That is a very fair comment. When I was taking my grandson to Ypres five years ago now (he was 8 years of age) , his father who was struggling with the TV remote at the time said to me without even bothering to look up. “Why take him to Belgium, he will not enjoy it. Take him to Southend and let him go on as many rides as he wants, he will enjoy that far more.”
You are correct when you say “If you stopped anyone on the street today under 50 they would have virtually no accurate knowledge of either of those two world wars.”
Have you visited Vimy Ridge, The Aisne or Ypres either by yourself or with members of your family? I think that you would find it educational and perhaps if your relatives are buried near where the fell it would give you the opportunity of visiting their graves. The CWGC website could help you locate the cemeteries and burial plots if you were to take an interest.
Much of the knolwledge is down to education, the parents imitially and then whatever gets taught at school. I get the impression these days that schools seldom want to have anything to do with teaching about either war or if they do it is very selective, although I have to say that each of my grandchildren has been asked to write essays on any of their relatives who may have been involved in either war, the questions being posed around Armistice Day.
I maybe wrong but many times I notice that my grandchildren can seldom be dragged away from their mobiles and You tube or whatever or their ipad computer games for any length of time. I wonder whether these forms of entertainment ever have anything on them that might give rise to any form of interest in learning about either war.
Certainly there are "war " computer games but they seem to be mostly of the alien variety as far as I can tell. It also seems that the latest gossip from Love Island or whatever rubbish TV programme is of more interest to my granddaughter!
My grandson thoroughly enjoyed himself in my company going around Ypres even pointing out memorials that I may not have noticed whilst concentrating on the road and suggesting that we stop. Hopefully he will enjoy himself and find it interesting to visit the Somme and Vimy Ridge. I am looking forward to seeing the look on his face when he sees the size of the crater when we visit Lochnagar.
A couple of months after his vist to Ypres he was awarded a prize at his primary school for the best essay.
Having been brought up around the end of WW2 during my school years I was not at all interested in WW1 far too long ago! I could not get enough of WW2, books. films, whatever. As soon as a new WW2 film came out I was straight around to the local cinema to watch it.
It was only when I moved to France in 2004 and having to drive down the A1 from Arras towards Paris that my interest started and although I moved back to the U.K. at the end of 2010 I have been touring the WW1 battlefields in France and Belgium every year since.
Like so many others age is no longer on my side and I fear that either this year or next will probably be my final visit to them.