They were winged like angels, and as they hovered in the gathering darkness, the Germans inexplicably halted and the British slipped away to safety. Event. angels of Mons Bogus but curious story of Apparitions of angels who allegedly saved French and British soldiers from death during a battle at Mons, Belgium in World War I. The German victory forced the BEF into a retreat that was not checked until the First Battle of the Marne. Many of the English troops insisted that an entire regiment of white-clad, shining apparitions appeared between the two armies. 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.  A priest, the editor of one of these magazines, subsequently wrote to Machen asking if he would allow the story to be reprinted in pamphlet form, and if he would write a short preface giving sources for the story. The worst of the fighting was around Le Cateau, fought on the anniversary of Edward III’s great victory over the French at Crecy. The light became brighter and I could see quite distinctly three shapes, one in the center having what looked like outspread wings. As it was a time of allied problems with the Lusitania sinking, Zeppelin attacks and failure to achieve a breakthrough on the Western Front, the timing would make military sense. More than one soldier during the First World War put superstitious faith in a lucky coin, here is one man’s story from the Battle of Mons and the Retreat after. Nobody was quite sure where the Germans’ main stroke would fall. In this difficult turn of events, everyone was looking for a ray of hope – a miracle. It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. Since during the retreat many troops were exhausted and had not slept properly for days, such visions may have been hallucinations. The roads of France and Belgium swarmed with endless columns of dusty infantry, miles of horse-drawn guns and wagons, and miserable hordes of Belgian civilians trying to move what remained of their lives in carts. Angel of Mons, a crucified Canadian and the Kadaver factory: Mysteries and spin of World War One. The BEF fell back from Mons step by grudging step, leaving behind them more graves, more old friends buried far from England. 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. Rumours even circulated that German corpses had been found with arrow wounds. The Battle of Mons has attained an almost mythic status. As a former regular soldier, Scotsman Joe Cassells was a first-class reservist in the British Army. A wounded gunner confirmed his story. In "The Bowmen" Machen's soldier saw "a long line of shapes, with a shining about them. Set in WWI, an army psychiatrist, stationed in London, struggles with the loss of his son in the battle of Mons. In David Mitchell's 2004 novel "Cloud Atlas" the character Robert Frobisher composed a piece called "Angel of Mons". “THE ANGELS AT THE BATTLE OF MONS” #WeirdDarkness. The Battle of Mons came to be seen as a British victory against insurmountable odds, like the Battle of Agincourt. Doomed to death. It was then, in a time of deadly crisis, that the Angels of Mons, of wonderful tales of heavenly help, began to appear. 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 careful investigation by the Society for Psychical Research in 1915 said of the first-hand testimony, "We have received none at all, and of testimony at second-hand we have none that would justify us in assuming the occurrence of any supernormal phenomenon". You need not be incredulous. Those who scoffed at tales of St. George, angels, and phantom bowmen were quick to point out that it was difficult to obtain firsthand, authenticated evidence, which was certainly true. The Battle of Mons was no victory for the British, but it helped them to believe they could win. While the French threw away much of the flower of their army in head-on assaults against the German forces, the great right hook of the German offensive struck the Allied left, falling on a segment of the French army and the small but doughty British Expeditionary Force. The Angels of Mons: Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914 in the First World War. George for England in the good old style,” and all around the British appeared a spectral company of archers.  This last point was challenged by Harold Begbie in his book: On the Side of the Angels: A Reply to Arthur Machen, London 1915. 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. No, he said, he was a Methodist, but he had seen St. George mounted on a white horse, leading the British into action against overwhelming odds. Then there is the story of the "Angels of Mons" going strong through the 2nd Corps, of how the angel of the Lord on the traditional white horse, and clad all in white with flaming sword, faced the advancing Germans at Mons and forbade their further progress. His friend did, too: His friend did, too: “The last I heard of my chum was that he had been discharged from active service because of wounds, and so it would appear his half-franc piece really did bring him through, just as mine did me.” In those terrible days of August heat, the powerful German right wing swung like a great fist west and southwest from the Belgian frontier and struck deep into France. As Machen later said: It seemed that my light fiction had been accepted by the congregation of this particular church as the solidest of facts; and it was then that it began to dawn on me that if I had failed in the art of letters, I had succeeded, unwittingly, in the art of deceit. Surrounded by the Germans who outnumbered them five to one, 4,000 Commonwealth soldiers fought their way through and were saved from certain death.  References to the story can be found in World War I set novels and films like FairyTale: A True Story. A month or two later Machen received requests from the editors of parish magazines to reprint the story, which were granted. 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. German prisoners explained that the attack was aborted because they saw strong British reinforcements coming up. See more ideas about world war i, battle, world war one. Descriptions of this force varied from it being medieval longbow archers alongside St. George to a strange luminous cloud, though eventually the most popular version came to be angelic warriors. The cross is located at exactly the point where a motley outfit of cooks, store men, drivers and delivery men, about 50 in all from the regiment, held up the German advance for 11 hours. Well-meaning clergymen and physicians made wise and condescending remarks about hysteria, battle fatigue, and fear. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. Many of the men had reached the end of their endurance; some had not eaten in 24 hours. Around that time variations of the story began to appear, told as authentic histories, including an account that told how the corpses of German soldiers had been found on the battlefield with arrow wounds.. Times when the very landscape appears to shift. It is….. Again and again the BEF’s murderous musketry reached through the shimmering heat of the French fields to drop graycoated German infantry in heaps hundreds of yards away. The myth has its roots in a story by the author Arthur Machen, first published in the London Evening News on 29 September 1914. While the French threw away much of the flower of their army in head-on assaults against the German forces, the great right hook of the German offensive struck the Allied left, falling on a segment of the French army and the small but doughty British Expeditionary Force. A tedious fight followed. The Friends of Arthur Machen frequently publish articles on developments in the case. The man said he and his comrades had been trapped in a quarry by German cavalry, when suddenly angels lined the edge of the quarry and the Germans broke into panicked flight. Other soldiers agreed that he looked just like his image on the gold sovereigns of the day. Harrow! The next battle in the First World War is the Battle of Mons (2 nd Day): Elouges. “THE ANGELS AT THE BATTLE OF MONS” #WeirdDarkness. 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. , According to the conclusion of the most detailed study of the event it seems that Machen's story provided the genesis for the vast majority of the tales. In one action during the long retreat, an understrength British battalion, about to be overrun by masses of German infantry, became aware of a shadowy army fighting beside them, an army of bowmen of the days of Agincourt, five centuries gone. But there were simply too many enemy infantrymen and too much artillery. . 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. Listen to ““THE ANGELS AT THE BATTLE OF MONS” #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker. Was it hysteria, fatigue, fear, wishful thinking? The footage was supposedly found in a trunk in an antique shop by Danny Sullivan in Monmouth, close to Machen's birthplace of Caerleon. Machen, who had already written a number of factual articles on the conflict for the paper, set his story at the time of the retreat from the Battle of Mons in August 1914. 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. Another popular story was that the longbowmen of Agincourt’s ghosts had guarded against the Germans. The slimy, stinking 60-foot waterway was not much of an obstacle, but it would slow down the Germans and make them optimum targets. The first heavy fighting swirled around the Belgian city of Mons, a dreary industrial area studded with gray villages, dismal slag heaps, and shabby factory buildings. The Angels of Mons is a popular legend about a group of angels who supposedly protected members of the British army in the Battle of Mons at the outset of World War I. The Catholic paper The Universe reported an account from a Catholic officer in which an isolated British party decided to charge the enemy head-on. Was he Catholic, she asked? 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 Angel of Mons eBook: Metz, Jerred: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store. Spiritualism, Superstition and the Supernatural During the First World War. “The next minute,” he said, “comes this funny cloud of light, and when it clears off there’s a tall man with yellow hair, in golden armor on a white horse, holding his sword up, and his mouth open as if he was saying, ‘Come on, boys! “He was,” Begbie wrote, “definitely conscious of a supernatural presence.” The soldier in question was a Grenadier Guards NCO, hardly a type given to hysteria and delusion. In 1914 during WWI, a miraculous intervention occurred in a fierce battle between a small British Expeditionary Force and the German Army. One lance-corporal told his nurse of the appearance of angels during the Mons retreat. One legend was that the British had been protected by angels – blocking the Germans’ path and guiding the British to safety. Advancing German forces were thrown back by heavily outnumbered British troops, who suffered heavy casualties and, being outflanked, were forced into rapid retreat the next day. " This led Machen to suggest that the bowmen of his story had become the Angels of Mons. His story describes a phantom bowmen from the battle of Agincourt coming to the rescue of the British. However, there are strong similarities between many of these accounts of visions and Machen's story published six months earlier. Jan 30, 2014 - Board on The Battle of Mons, Belgium 1914 detailing what it was, what happened, Key involvement and a conclusion to the Battle. In the night of the 26th, the third day of the retreat west through Belgium, weary British soldiers saw tall, unearthly figures materialize in the gloom above the German lines. Postcard print by William Henry Margetson (1861–1940) Sep 8, 2016 - Angels on the Front Lines -- The World War I battle that took place near Mons, Belgium in 1914 became famous for its accounts of an army of angels that stood on the front lines between the two warring sides: the British and the Germans. 'I thought 'Oh, my granddad was at the Battle of Mons and he said he saw the angels.'' This is a postcard depicting the famous story of divine intervention by angels at the battle of Mons. He made little money from the story then or later. But there’s NEVER been anything like THIS before. The BEF comprised much of Britain’s tiny regular army, a minuscule force of four infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades when compared to the multitude of German army corps advancing on Paris. Begbie was impressed with the soldier’s transparent honesty. ANGELS OF MONS mythical appearance of English bowmen during the Battle of Mons 22-23 August 1914 based on a short story by Welsh author Arthur Machen Angels of Mons (Reve Mystique), cover design for solo piano music by Sydney C Baldock, inspired by rumours of angelic intervention in the fighting (Battle of Mons, Belgium, 23 August 1914) during World War One. Others said the “Angels of Mons” might have been St. Michael, since he carried a gleaming sword. Begbie also interviewed another soldier who spoke of a “bright light in the sky.” Still another told Begbie that he had heard men in France talking about the celestial apparitions. The Angels of Mons is a legend that evolved from one writer’s skillful ability to weave ghostly stories. The other two were not so large, but were quite plainly distinct from the center one. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. The previous battle in the First World War is the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). So what inspired the stories of angels, spectral archers, the mighty figure of St. George? The odds were 4-to-1 against the BEF in infantry, plus the usual German superiority in guns. Although the British were badly outnumbered, their massed fire stopped the Germans cold. On the evening of 23 August, as night was falling, the situation was serious. It was not a place the II Corps commander would have chosen to fight, but Smith-Dorrien wisely elected to make a stand rather than try to disengage and withdraw in the face of overwhelming numbers. Angels in the Trenches. On August 22–23, 1914, the first major engagement of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War occurred at the Battle of Mons. Machen, bemused by all this, attempted to end the rumours by republishing the story in August in book form, with a long preface stating the rumours were false and originated in his story. In 2001, an article in The Sunday Times claimed that a diary, film and photographic evidence proving the existence of the Angels of Mons from a World War I soldier named William Doidge had been found. These phantom men-at-arms cried aloud to St. George, and their swift arrows darkened the sky. Mons was a battle of movement - unlike the battles that followed which involved trench warfare". The stories themselves certainly boosted morale on the home front, as popular enthusiasm was dying down in 1915 and they demonstrate the importance of religion in wartime.. 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.  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 BEF moved east toward the advancing Germans, marching across storied ground past Malplaquet, where Marlborough had whipped the French two centuries before. The British carried the German trench, and a German prisoner later asked the officer who the “officer on a great white horse” had been, for the German riflemen had not been able to hit him. Others shook their heads knowingly and tut-tutted about superstition and overactive imaginations. , Articles with unsourced statements from November 2014, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever, “The Bowmen”, (also includes his Introduction). Throughout the spring and summer of 1915 more stories surfaced. I saw it myself.”, Captain Hayward, an intelligence officer with British I Corps, referred to the Angels of Mons as “four or five wonderful beings,” robed in white, who faced the German lines in brilliant sunlight with hands upraised to halt the advancing enemy. Machen was associated with the story for the rest of his life and grew sick of the connection, as he regarded “The Bowmen” as a poor piece of work. These new publications included popular songs and artists' renderings of the angels. Perhaps. The answer lies in the strange story of the Angels of Mons, actual angels that were said to have protected British forces during World War I’s Battle of Mons. The battle began at 9:00 am, when the artillery of General von Kluck’s First Army opened fire on the British positions. This violation of neutrality forced the British, who promised to enforce Belgium’s neutrality, to send an expeditionary force to stop the German forces. During the retreat, some soldiers swore that they had seen the face of the patron saint of England. The brigade consisted of four infantry battalions, about 4,000 men in total. All agreed that a miracle had saved them from a massive German force about to overrun their unit. “Rumours of Angels: a response to Simpson”, The Angels of Mons: the bowmen and other legends of the War, Arthur Machen, The Bowmen, (also includes his Introduction with his theories of explanation), David Clarke, Rumours of angels: a legend of the First World War – detailed study in, Kevin Maclure, Visions of Bowmen and Angels, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Angels_of_Mons?oldid=5274415, The Angels of Mons were depicted as phantom bowmen from the, "The Whole Enchilada", the second episode of the first series of, The Angels of Mons are featured in and partly inspire the short story, Is referenced in the 2010 Harper Teen novel "Unearthly" by debut author Cynthia Hand. , The only real evidence of visions from actual named serving soldiers provided during the debate stated that they saw visions of phantom cavalrymen, not angels or bowmen, and this occurred during the retreat rather than at the Battle itself. In 2002 in a BBC Radio documentary The Making of an Urban Myth Sullivan admitted the story was a complete hoax to drum up interest in Woodchester Mansion; the footage and soldier never existed. Western Front; World War I The Angels of Mons is a legend of supernatural intervention during or after the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914. T he Angels of Mons are supernatural beings widely reported as having defended the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) against overwhelming odds in the first major engagement of the Great War, the Battle of Mons, on Sunday 23 August 1914. The story described phantom bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt summoned by a soldier calling on St. George, destroying a German host. I’ll put the kibosh on the devils.’ Then, before you could say ‘knife,’ the Germans had turned, and we were after them, fighting like ninety.”. The stories published then often attribute their sources to anonymous British officers. XHTML: You can use these tags:
. Unknown to the BEF however, the French had retreated, leaving the British Army outnumbered almost three to one and vulnerable to encirclement. In May 1915 a full-blown controversy was erupting, with the angels being used as proof of the action of divine providence on the side of the Allies in sermons across Britain, and then spreading into newspaper reports published widely across the world. Angel of Mons. Angel Sightings At The Battle Of Mons Never miss a paranormal mystery! “Rumours of Angels: A Legend of the First World War – Detailed Study”. The origins of this ‘Angels of Mons’ myth can be traced back to the original fictional story recreated by journalist, Arthur Machen. 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. The best evidence provided was in Brigadier-General John Charteris' memoirs At G.H.Q. Running into the open, somebody yelled, “St. Smith-Dorrien’s two divisions, stretched thin over 21 miles, found themselves attacked by two German corps, with another closely approaching and still another on the way. For more than a century, the tale of the Angels of Mons has proven to be such an almost impossibly resilient legend that the BBC deemed it “the first ever Urban Myth.” Advancing German forces were thrown back by heavily outnumbered British troops, who suffered heavy casualties and, being outflanked, were forced into rapid retreat the next day. Had guarded against the Germans ’ main stroke would fall the Germans ’ path and guiding the British Army the! More reports of angels: a legend of supernatural intervention during or after the War strategic. Document, a technique Machen knew well, somebody yelled, “ St is the British appeared a company... 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