The Angel of Mons
One of the earliest and best known legends associated with trench life in the First World War is that known as the "Angel of Mons". The "Angel" was reputed to have appeared in the sky during the British retreat from Mons during August 1914, and to have safeguarded the withdrawal. This legend grew from a short story by Arthur Machen, published in the Evening Post of 29 September 1914.
- Arthur Machen, The Angel of Mons: the Bowmen and other legends of the war (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1915)
- Paul Fussell, The Great War and modern memory (London: Oxford University Press, 1975)
- The Angel of Mons [0.78Mb PDF file]
From the Memorial's File of Research No.533 (Official Record AWM338, Item 4). It contains a detailed discussion of the legend.
- "The Bowmen" by Arthur Machen
External site containing the text of Arthur Machen's "The Bowmen" and his explanation of how he came to write the story.