Hell's Foundations: A Social History of the Town of Bury in the Aftermath of the Gallipoli Campaign

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"The most haunting agony remains Gallipoli. No other battle or campaign fought between 1914 and 1918 has ever been remembered quite so tenaciously as the ill-fated Allied expedition to the Dardanelles." And perhaps nowhere in Britain so tenaciously, continues Geoffrey Moorhouse, as in the small Lancashire mill town of Bury. With a population at the time of only 50,000, Bury was home base to the Lancashire Fusiliers, and though they were but one of eighty-four British regiments serving at Gallipoli, they suffered grievous losses--nearly 2,000
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New York 1992 Hardcover First US Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0805017682. 9.5 x 1 x 6.5 Inches; 256 pages; A powerful and tragic story of the town of Bury, ... which was devastated when many of its young men were lost at Gallipoli. Book is new. Received from distributor for bookstore but never made it to the shelf. Light rubbing to the shine on the DJ but this was due to packing. Read more Show Less

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New York (1992) Hardcover First American Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0805017682. New book and DJ in as new condition. Not a remainder.; 8vo 8"-9" tall; 256 ... pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"The most haunting agony remains Gallipoli. No other battle or campaign fought between 1914 and 1918 has ever been remembered quite so tenaciously as the ill-fated Allied expedition to the Dardanelles." And perhaps nowhere in Britain so tenaciously, continues Geoffrey Moorhouse, as in the small Lancashire mill town of Bury. With a population at the time of only 50,000, Bury was home base to the Lancashire Fusiliers, and though they were but one of eighty-four British regiments serving at Gallipoli, they suffered grievous losses--nearly 2,000 officers and men fell in the nine-month assault. In this original and haunting book, Geoffrey Moorhouse examines the effect Gallipoli has had for three quarters of a century on this Lancashire town. Using a wide range of sources--newspapers of the day, regimental archives, parish records, Imperial War Museum documents, Public Record Office papers, as well as the private papers and diaries of locals (both civilian and military), and interviews with the remaining survivors and their families--he reconstructs a social history of the town in light of the military disasters that befell it. Here is the town on the eve of war and the town cheering its men as they marched off to war. And here is the town as the news of the catastrophe gradually filtered back from the front. Here is Bury in conflict, struggling with its fierce patriotism and the demoralization Gallipoli brought, trying to reconcile romantic ideals with grim reality as the war dragged on for three more years and the death total neared 14,000. And here is the aftermath of the war, the broken families and broken men, in a country that wanted to forget the war and get on with life. Finally, here is the town today, having reached beyond grief, celebrating every Gallipoli Sunday in a salute that has metamorphosed from disaster to legend. This is social history at its best, a close-focus view of the way ordinary people coped with extraordinary events. Filled with tales of
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Lancashire Fusiliers, based in the mill town of Bury in the north of England, was only one of 84 British regiments that saw action at Gallipoli in the WW I Dardanelles campaign, but no others suffered more wounded and dead. The author of this unusual book, born and raised in Bury, grandson of a Gallipoli survivor and acquainted with several of the families whose men were either lost at Gallipoli or returned in damaged condition, eloquently presents the character of the town and its citizens' attitudes toward the battle. In a gently ironic style, he describes the sentimental, uncritical deference to ``King and Country'' through which the local aristocrats and clergy encouraged the town's young men to seek glory with the Fusiliers. Then we read of the bleak aftermath as many veterans of the ill-fated 1915 expedition struggled with poverty, shell shock and despair while the townspeople raised money for war memorials and continued to express pride in the ``boys.'' Moorhouse The Other England conveys the horror of war and society's strange impulse to view it in terms of glory. Illustrations. Apr.
Library Journal
The 1915 assault on Gallipoli, Turkey was the first of the mass slaughters to imprint itself on this century's consciousness. Grim Bury, home to a regiment that lost nearly 2000 lives at Gallipoli, was that year a settlement of 50,000 chiefly in service to cotton and entirely in thrall to its paternalist landlord. Moorhouse combines a traditional and vivid account of the fighting with narrative social and local history as he assesses the World War I battle's impact on several generations of this community in northern England. Moorhouse ponders the connection between civic culture and commitment, concluding that Bury's early, painful valor was tempered by later discretion. Despite betraying an occasional affinity for imperial pomp, the author, a Bury native and respected travel writer, has drawn on contemporary newspapers and interviews to create a perceptive analysis. This may not find a ready audience in the United States, however, since its focus is not Gallipoli, but an obscure English town. Recommended for libraries with strong World War I or British social history collections.-- Scott H. Silverman, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., Pa.
Kirkus Reviews
Another splendid historical study by Moorhouse (On the Other Side, 1991; Imperial City, 1988, etc.), who here details the effects of the disastrous 1915 Gallipoli campaign on Bury, Lancashire, an English mill town that was the headquarters of a regiment heavily involved in the fighting. The author, grandson of one of the participants, was born and raised in Bury—a fact that adds emotional resonance and verisimilitude to his narrative. Writing with his usual sensitivity and smoothness, Moorhouse, in a series of heartbreaking and frequently infuriating vignettes, reports on the events of the botched and bloody Anatolian landing and the subsequent carnage. As impressive as his WW I passages are, though, it is when Moorhouse focuses on postwar developments that he reveals the unique vision that has distinguished his earlier books. In recounting the tragic legacy of the war, he assembles a vast array of dramatis personae—pensioners, priests, and profiteers; unfaithful wives, workers, and wastrels; suicides and swindlers—and tells their stories in powerful images and vibrant detail. And Moorhouse handles the larger issues with equal perceptiveness. He discusses, for example, the admiration English enlisted men felt for the vitality and openness of the Anzac (Australian and New Zealand) troops during the campaign, and counters this by noting the scorn with which the colonials viewed the "Tommies," whom they considered weak both in physique and spirit. A short but strong chapter describes the life and times of Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, a holdover from the Edwardian era who virtually owned the town. This Colonel Blimp- like figure's platitudes andpretensions are captured with a fine straight-faced irony. An unusual and engrossing take on a fairly familiar bit of British history, rendered with freshness and literary polish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805017687
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 288

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