In Hell’s Foundations Geoffrey Moorhouse movingly examined the relationship between the Lancashire Fusiliers and Bury during the Gallipoli campaign and its aftermath. More generally, he asked, ‘What influence did it have on the subsequent history of places that were affected by the events of 1915.’1 His richly textured book drew attention to the contribution which the regimental depot, ex-servicemen, paternalistic leaders, churches and the grammar school made to the civic commemoration of the landings of 25 April 1915 during the inter-war years and beyond. He explored how individual experiences of the landings were shared in Bury and the meanings that were attached to the relationship between the town and its battalions and the courageous exploits of 1915 in the ensuing decades of living memory. Robert Rhodes James commended the work of Moorhouse and
wondered whether further studies should be undertaken of other British regiments, so that we might consider whether service at Gallipoli had any enduring significance in urban and rural communities after the war.2 After 1919 the emergence of Armistice Day commemorations invited remembrance of the war as a whole and on a national scale. However, privately and in small groups, memories of particular moments in the wartime record of units, with specific local affiliations, were evoked long after individual battles and campaigns were subsumed by the grand national narratives of the war. As the war moves beyond living memory it is important to consider why and how locally meaningful memories of total war were kept alive and to what end?