The Angels of Mons
Did the Great Hidden Power, during 'those awful days at Mons, when the Allies retreated before the German hordes, send I angels to encourage them in the great fight for honour and liberty? The sceptical, of course, scout the stories of such visions, and describe them as- the hallucinations of wounded suffering soldiers.
'But from French and English soldiers, nurses and chaplains, come stories of the visitation of the "white comrade' who in some cases was St George, and in others St Michael the Archangel, and Joan of Are, at a period when it seemed as though nothing could save the crushing of the Allied. Absolute proof, of course, it is impossible to obtain.
Briefly, the story is this: At a certain moment of the retreat the whole of the British force was in great danger of being surrounded and annihilated. The critical point was a small corner held by a British regiment, which was attacked by overwhelming forces. Only 500 of the English were left, while some 10 000 Germans were opposing them, and to every one the position of the little band of soldiers looked absolutely desperate, At this moment, the story runs, one of the British soldiers invoked the aid of St. George and the holy angels, and then beheld a vision of the angels coming to the rescue.
Other people besides the soldier who invoked their aid seem to have seen the angels. In a letter quoted in the "Canadian Church Life' there is an account of two officers who saw the angel host. They expected annihilation, as they were almost helpless, when, to their amazement, the Germans stood like dazed men, and never so much as touched their guns or stirred until they had turned around and escaped by some cross-roads.
Miss Phillis Campbed, whose self-sacrificing devotion in the cause of the French Red Cross work has earned for her the honoured title of 'The Beloved of the Wounded,' has heard the story of how St. George saved our soldiers from annihilation from the lips of scores of men.
She relates how one night when she was attending the wounded, an English soldier, in one of the wagons, asked for a holy picture. 'It seemed an extraordinary thing to ask for In that awful scene,' says Miss Campbell, in the 'Occult. Review.'Miss,'said the soldier, 'please give me a picture of St. George. I want a picture or a medal, because I have seen St. George on a white horse. An R.F.A man lying near-by corroborated this seeming madness. 'It's true, sister,' he interjected; 'we all saw it,'
Miss Campbell questioned other men. Yes, they had seen St. Gorge come 'out of a funny-looking cloud." He was riding-a white horse and a sword above his head. Then came the order to advance and the Germans were in full flight. But why they had fled none could say, for the British were hopelessly out-numbered.
Men of the Irish Guards also told a similar story. The French testimony differed. some said it was Joan of Arch, that she was bare header, riding a white horse and flourishing a sword as she called 'Advance.' Others had seen Michael the Archangel, clad in gioden amour, bareheaded. riding a white horse and crying 'Victory' as he brandished his sword.
There was not the slightest doubt about the sincere belief in the visitation of the men who told the story. Among the eye-witnesses were officers of high rank and a Roman Catholic priest.
The Rev. Dr. Horton, the well known Congregationalist preacher, asked one of his young men if he had seen the 'white comrade.' 'No' he replied, 'but' I have seen the companion in White. and I believe in him. Nothing is impossible here, of the unseen becomes seen in times like these.
The testimony of Miss Sarah Marrable, the daughter of a well known cannon, is remarkable. The lady find the 17th verse of the 6th chapter of the Second Book of Kings of Biblical parallel to the story of the Angel of Mons. And although as she points out, the names of the men and officers who claim to have seen the angels are not know to us, there is no reason to cast doubt on the original story of the visitation which 'we mat expect in answer to our prayer for men continually exposed to danger.'