Mons was a battle of movement - unlike the battles that followed which involved trench warfare". The greatest legend of the war, The Angels of Mons, emerged from the first battle fought by British troops in Europe since Wellington's forces defeated Napoleon at Waterloo a century earlier (see FT170:3038). The Angels of Mons is a legend that evolved from one writer’s skillful ability to weave ghostly stories. The Angels of Mons’ story is associated with the 8th infantry brigade of the 3rd division of the British Army. Date of the Battle of Mons: 23 rd August 1914 Place of the Battle of Mons: In Belgium on the French border War: The First World War known as the ‘Great War’. Controversy surrounding the Angels of Mons legend prompted the Society for Psychical Research to launch an investigation. 2021 - 2020  References to the story can be found in World War I set novels and films like FairyTale: A True Story. All agreed that a miracle had saved them from a massive German force about to overrun their unit. As the Remembrance season draws near, John Phillpott visits the scene of the opening battle involving the British Army in the First World War, and relates the strange tale of the Angels of Mons. The latest and most detailed examination of the Mons story by David Clarke suggests these men may have been part of a covert attempt by military intelligence to spread morale-boosting propaganda and disinformation. In this difficult turn of events, everyone was looking for a ray of hope – a miracle. The next battle in the First World War is the Battle of Mons (2 nd Day): Elouges. WWII Quarterly, the hardcover journal of the Second World War that is not available in bookstores or on newsstands, and can only be obtained and collected through a personal subscription through the mail. In the reports and stories that followed the battle a myth arose: the ‘Angels of Mons’, heavenly beings, who appeared before the men and guided them as they retreated. Accounts of heavenly aid abounded in Britain. The woman, unconvinced, repeated the story later, and a British colonel told her simply: “Young lady, the thing happened. On 24 April 1915, an account was published in the British Spiritualist magazine telling of visions of a supernatural force that miraculously intervened to help the British at the decisive moment of the battle. Other soldiers agreed that he looked just like his image on the gold sovereigns of the day. The article discussed a long involved story in which Doidge was involved with an American GI and an angel seen years later in Woodchester Mansion. The priest replied that Machen must be mistaken, that the "facts" of the story must be true, and that Machen had just elaborated on a true account. During this battle more than a hundred British soldiers claim to have witnessed the vision of an angel which guided them to safety. Adsit Anglis Sanctus Georgius it read, “May St. George be a present help to England.” Later, in Belgium, the soldier prayed for the saint’s help against the waves of German attackers and was rewarded by a host of shining bowmen, who charged the Germans with shouts of “Harrow! They had barely returned to camp when a rumour began: angels from heaven had led the way. The BEF fell back from Mons step by grudging step, leaving behind them more graves, more old friends buried far from England. There were more reports of angels and apparitions from the front including Joan of Arc. German prisoners explained that the attack was aborted because they saw strong British reinforcements coming up.  In a time of intense media interest all these reports allegedly confirming sightings of supernatural activity were second-hand and some of them were hoaxes created by soldiers who were not even at Mons. The Story of the Angels of Mons. An Englishwoman nursing in France wrote of a wounded Lancashire Fusilier who asked her for a religious medal. Up ahead was the field called Waterloo. The “luminous cloud” between Germans and British appeared again, and the Bath Society Paper quoted an extract from an officer’s letter: “I myself saw the angels who saved our left wing from the Germans during the retreat from Mons. In "The Bowmen" Machen's soldier saw "a long line of shapes, with a shining about them. “THE ANGELS AT THE BATTLE OF MONS” #WeirdDarkness. Atrocity reports like the Rape of Belgium and that of the Crucified Soldier paved the way for a belief that the Christian God would intervene directly against such an evil enemy. Harrow! The Friends of Arthur Machen frequently publish articles on developments in the case. Please share Weird Darkness with others; it helps me to continue creating content as often as I do as well as spreading the word about resources available for those who struggle with depression. The Angels of Mons by Marcel Gillis (Mons War Memorial, Belgium) The British Expeditionary Force’s first major engagement in WWI took place on the 23rd of August 1914 in the Battle of Mons. Perhaps that was what had caused these “visions,” as the newspapers called them. He referred to another occasion on which “the sky opened with a bright shining light and figures of luminous beings appeared.”. A large German force was indeed making its sweep into France, and a few small units of the British Expeditionary Force, the first British soldiers sent to the mainland, happened to be in their way. The battle was a strategic victory for Germany, as the British stand at Mons slowed, but did not stop, the advance of the German army into France. All the men with me saw them. Considering the numbers of German troops involved in the battle, the British ability to hold them off for as long as they did seemed remarkable, and army recruitment shot up in the weeks that followed. In the link from Wikipedia, it says, "Mons gained a myth - a miraculous tale that the "Angels of Mons" - angelic warriors sometimes described as phantom longbowmen from Agincourt - saved the British Army by halting the German troops". Skeptics back in England and America did scoff, but that was to be expected. A British division commander, tears in his eyes, paid them the ultimate compliment: “The Germans may be able to kill them, but by God they can’t beat them.” But the Germans were coming on in such overwhelming numbers that rifles and courage could not hold them any longer. In fact, the ground behind the British unit was empty. It was claimed Marlon Brando and Tony Kaye were going to spend £350,000 to buy the evidence to make a film. Although the British were badly outnumbered, their massed fire stopped the Germans cold. A soldier of the Cheshire Regiment saw the angels too, and watched the German cavalry horses panic and bolt before their terrifying presence. The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in the First World War.It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. A KEY battle turned around by phantom soldiers; the … The magazine Light ran a story entitled “The Invisible Allies” in October 1914, and followed up another column the next April reporting that during the retreat from Mons several officers and men had seen a cloud appear between them and the Germans. 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