The Book of Isaiah is full of promises of Heavenly aid to Israel. In chapter 41, verses 8 to 14, reiterate this fact: “But thou, Israel, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend … fear not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed for I am thy God … I will uphold thee with the right hand of My Righteousness. Behold all those that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish … fear not thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel, I will help thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
We are also told in subsequent chapters that God created Jacob, and Israel has He redeemed; and we are instructed to “call upon Him in the Day of Trouble, and He will deliver us.” During the World War of 1914-1918 there were certainly two outstanding occasions when God fulfilled His promise, as far as Great Britain was concerned, in a most noticeable manner.
One of these will be the subject of my article this month, that is, “The Angels of Mons”. It took place at, or near, the town of Mons, during the battle of that name between the German forces and the British Army, towards the end of August, 1914. The German Army, after sweeping all resistance aside, had advanced on a wide front right into the heart of Belgium and France. Although the Belgians, French and British put up a stout defense, it was principally against the British that the heaviest enemy attacks were launched. Our troops, greatly outnumbered, had been fighting continuously for several days, with little or no rest, and our men were almost dropping from fatigue after a prolonged rearguard action, during which we had lost great numbers of men and guns. Serious defeat appeared inevitable, especially as we had practically no reserves ready, though recruits were being drilled by the hundreds in England.
It was realized that a “Day of Trouble” had arrived, and that only God alone could help us. Churches were crowded with the whole of the British Nation at prayer.
Then occurred the event afterwards known as the appearance of the “Angels of Mons,” in answer to National Prayer. By several accounts, referring to the appearance of “Angels” and related by British soldiers, who vouched for the occurrences, as having been observed by them personally.
While a detachment of British soldiers was retiring through Mons under very heavy German artillery and machine gun fire in August, 1914, they knelt behind a hastily erected barricade and endeavored to hold up the enemy advance. The firing on both sides was very intensive and the air reverberated with deafening crashes of exploding shells.
Suddenly, firing on both sides STOPPED DEAD and a sudden silence fell.
Looking over their barrier, the astonished British saw four or five hundred BEINGS, much bigger than men, between themselves and the halted Germans. They were white robed and bareheaded, and seemed rather to float than stand. Their backs were towards the British, and they faced the enemy with outstretched arm and hands, as if to say, “Stop! This far and no further.” The sun was shining quite brightly at the time. Next thing the British knew was that the Germans were retreating in great disorder.
On another occasion the British were in danger of being surrounded by the Germans, and had lost numbers of guns and men. Just when matters seemed hopeless, the heavy enemy fire suddenly STOPPED DEAD and a great silence fell over all.
The sky opened up with a bright shining light and figures of “luminous Beings” appeared. They seemed to float between the British and the German forces, and to prevent the further advance of the enemy. Some of the German cavalry were advancing and the officers and men were unable to get their horses to go forward.
Before the surprised British were able to realize what had happened, the whole of the apparently victorious enemy force were retreating in great disorder. This allowed the British and Allied Armies to re-form and fall back upon a line of defense several miles further west, where they “dug in.” Then began the period of “Trench Warfare,” which continued for over three years, with varying fortunes to either side until the spring of 1918. The story of the “Angels of Mons” flashed through England, thrilling many who believed that God always heard the prayer of His people, especially when they called upon Him in the “Day of Trouble.” But, unfortunately, a certain section of the Press got hold of the story and poured contempt upon it, and one well known author wrote a fictitious story called the “Bowman of Mons,” which had no actual factual foundation, but consequently, the rank and file who had personal knowledge of the “Angels” at Mons ceased to talk about it. It was largely forgotten in the pressure of events, which took place all over the world during the succeeding years of the war.
From the human point of view, the weakness of this account lies in the fact that it came from British soldiers, who might be considered biased by the scoffers who are always ready to discredit others.
Assembled by Pastor Alan Campbell