Angels | Burden | Miracles | Protection | Providence

A month after the bitterly fought Battle of Mons in the First World War, a report appeared in the London Evening News that caused a sensation at the time and has created controversy ever since. The report, by a Welsh-born journalist and author, Arthur Machen, told how the tiny British Expeditionary Force (BEF), outnumbered by three to one, was apparently saved by heavenly reinforcements. The Angel, or Angels, of Mons (accounts varied between one and a platoon) suddenly stood between them and the Germans. Understandably, the enemy fell back in confusion. The battle took place on August 26, 1914, and when the report appeared in September, most of the survivors were still in France. In May of the following year, a clergyman’s daughter anonymously published in a parish magazine what she claimed was a sworn statement by a British officer. In it the officer said that while his company was in retreat from Mons, a unit of German cavalry came…

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