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MR ARTHUR Machen, above, the novelist who originated the legend of The Angel of Mons, died today at a Beaconsfield nursing home at the age of 84.
David Clarke's The Angel of Mons (Wiley, 2007) is a good modern examination of the legend.
| On August 21 at 6pm, a free |lecture, e Angel of Mons and other Myths of the First World War, will be given at the Lit & Phil by cultural historian Gail-Nina Anderson.
The angel of Mons? Who or what is the figure at her feet?
From time to time the Angel Of Mons - sighted by soldiers as they went over the top to their deaths - hovered dramatically above the battlefield.
The quality of Machen's writing was demonstrated early in World War I when the newspaper published the short story "The Angel of Mons" from The Bowmen and Other Legends of War (1915), which circulated widely as a true story and gave hope to thousands of soldiers in battle.
The testimonies of those who believed themselves to have seen the Angel of Mons - that configuration of awesome power which appeared over the battlefields - are witness again to the human need for spiritual help in unbearable situations and for their tendency to create the right kind of angel to fit the needs of the moment.
DOROTHY Wedlake in her recent letter asked whether there was evidence like the account of the unauthorised truce on the front in 1914 of the account of the Angel of Mons apparition, which it was alleged so encouraged the British forces and terrified the Germans.
During the First World War, soldiers reported many strange sightings, the most famous being the Angel of Mons which would mysteriously intervene to save them.
In Wales, it was as damn near miraculous as the Angel of Mons,' he said.
February 5, 6pm: The Angel of Mons: Myths and Legends of the First World War ( Dr David Clarke