Angels of Mons
The Angels of Mons: An extraordinary legend of the earlier days of the war was to the effect that the British Forces in the Retreat from Mons had been supernaturally aided. It was widely declared that many men at the front owed their escape from death or capture to Angelic interventions, and widespread public interest in England was aroused, a newspaper controversy also starting. The “Angels of Mons” became an article of faith to hundreds of people. The legend, it finally came out, originated with a contribution to the Evening News under the title of The Bowmen, a piece of realistic fiction by Mr. Arthur Machen. Apparently the idea was suggested by the chronicled narratives of supernatural appearances in the sky before old-time battles; as, for instance, before the Battle of Edgehill in the Civil War, and, according to local legends, on several occasions during the Wars of the Roses.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.6.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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