Objective: To assess stroke awareness among patients presenting to the emergency department with an acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Methods: A consecutive cohort of patients presenting with a cerebrovascular event was prospectively enrolled over a 15-month period and questionnaires were administered. If the patient was unable to respond to the questions or answer the questionnaire, it was administered to the primary caregiver. Comprehension of having a cerebrovascular event, reason for delay in presentation, mode of arrival and knowledge of treatment modalities were determined. Results: Only 42% of 400 patients thought they were having a stroke or TIA. The median time to presentation was 3.4 h. Delayed presentation was almost equal in men and women. When asked about onset, 19.4% thought that a stroke came on gradually and only 51.9% thought immediate presentation was crucial. 20.8% of patients had heard of thrombolysis. Conclusion: Community knowledge of ischaemic stroke needs to be enhanced so that individuals present earlier, leading to timely management.