Angels were seen at Mons

Angels were seen at Mons

Angels were seen at Mons

First published in Letters by

WE WATCHED Jeremy Paxman’s BBC1 programme Britain’s Great War on Monday night and found it informative, with old film and photographs shown.

But when he said there were no angels at Mons, I thought: “How does he know; he was not there?” But the father of my husband’s friend from school days was and he saw them .

You cannot tell me that hundreds of men, even exhausted ones, would have the same delusion.

As the great bard wrote “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.

Maureen Robinson, Broadway, York.

Comments (10)

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1:14pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Lunatic says...

Hundreds of thousands of exhausted Christians will share similar angel delusions given the right circumstances, especially when their lives are in real danger, just like hundreds of thousands of exhausted Vikings would've seen Odin or hundreds of thousands of Klingons would've seen Kahless.
Hundreds of thousands of exhausted Christians will share similar angel delusions given the right circumstances, especially when their lives are in real danger, just like hundreds of thousands of exhausted Vikings would've seen Odin or hundreds of thousands of Klingons would've seen Kahless. Lunatic
  • Score: 4

1:37pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Fat Harry says...

What were the angels doing there, in the midst of of one of history's bloodiest conflicts?

Just there to enjoy the spectacle I suppose, because they certainly weren't protecting anyone.

As pointless wars go, this one took the biscuit; millions upon millions of lives wasted to little discernible advantage for anyone but the munitions manufacturers.
What were the angels doing there, in the midst of of one of history's bloodiest conflicts? Just there to enjoy the spectacle I suppose, because they certainly weren't protecting anyone. As pointless wars go, this one took the biscuit; millions upon millions of lives wasted to little discernible advantage for anyone but the munitions manufacturers. Fat Harry
  • Score: 1

1:54pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Firedrake says...

The really odd thing about the Paxman programme - especially considering it was the first episode! - was that there was no mention at all of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand! Okay so it wasn't the cause, as such, but it was certainly the finger that set the dominos falling.

I was glad, though, that the East Coast shelling and the bombing of Yarmouth and King's Lynn got a mention as they are usually ignored. The latter incident was particularly significant as it was (as far as I can tell) the first ever long range transmarine air raid in history; a particularly sinister harbinger of things to come.

As for the Angels of Mons; the delusion/reality issue is surely academic. If the soldiers saw them they saw them ... whether they were really there or not!
The really odd thing about the Paxman programme - especially considering it was the first episode! - was that there was no mention at all of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand! Okay so it wasn't the cause, as such, but it was certainly the finger that set the dominos falling. I was glad, though, that the East Coast shelling and the bombing of Yarmouth and King's Lynn got a mention as they are usually ignored. The latter incident was particularly significant as it was (as far as I can tell) the first ever long range transmarine air raid in history; a particularly sinister harbinger of things to come. As for the Angels of Mons; the delusion/reality issue is surely academic. If the soldiers saw them they saw them ... whether they were really there or not! Firedrake
  • Score: 6

5:48pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Lineker's Lad says...

The upcoming anniversary of the start of the Great War will bring the issue of how/why the war began into focus and a good number of opinions will be expressed (freedom of expression being one of the ideals I would suggest the war was fought to uphold),
However I find the tone adopted by some commentators a little disappointing when they question the motives behind the war, and suggest that those who took part were somehow duped. My grandfather and his three brothers volunteered in the early months of the war and fought throughout; one of his brothers was killed in the huge German offensive of March 1918. I find it incredibly disrespectful and insulting to their memory and what they did/went through to hear such opinions widely repeated (at times with little real knowledge or understanding).
Express the opinions by all means if you must, but have a thought for men such as my grandfather and his brothers. I believe I'm not alone in feeling this.
The upcoming anniversary of the start of the Great War will bring the issue of how/why the war began into focus and a good number of opinions will be expressed (freedom of expression being one of the ideals I would suggest the war was fought to uphold), However I find the tone adopted by some commentators a little disappointing when they question the motives behind the war, and suggest that those who took part were somehow duped. My grandfather and his three brothers volunteered in the early months of the war and fought throughout; one of his brothers was killed in the huge German offensive of March 1918. I find it incredibly disrespectful and insulting to their memory and what they did/went through to hear such opinions widely repeated (at times with little real knowledge or understanding). Express the opinions by all means if you must, but have a thought for men such as my grandfather and his brothers. I believe I'm not alone in feeling this. Lineker's Lad
  • Score: 3

9:43pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Seadog says...

But it's hardly disrespectful or insulting to claim such men were duped - quite the reverse, in fact. Many people have enormous respect for the "lions led by donkeys". It's the politicians who let the war happen who deserve the criticism, not our grandparents who actually fought it.
But it's hardly disrespectful or insulting to claim such men were duped - quite the reverse, in fact. Many people have enormous respect for the "lions led by donkeys". It's the politicians who let the war happen who deserve the criticism, not our grandparents who actually fought it. Seadog
  • Score: 4

10:12pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Lineker's Lad says...

Lions led by donkeys? I thought we'd progressed beyond the GCSE appraisal of the conduct of the Great War.
Lions led by donkeys? I thought we'd progressed beyond the GCSE appraisal of the conduct of the Great War. Lineker's Lad
  • Score: 2

10:49pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Seadog says...

Perhaps; but few would deny (except Michael Gove I dare say!) that it was still a catastrophe on a monumental scale. By the time it broke out there may have been an inevitability about it but it was still a disastrous consequence of decades of human greed and imperial brinkmanship . My great uncle died near Bethune and my maternal grandfather later died from an infection contracted either in the trenches or as a POW. I do not feel anyone is disrespecting them as individuals just because they are critical of the mindset of the world leaders of the day. After all, such criticism encompasses The Kaiser and his cronies as much as anyone else.

Anyway - to return to the letter - what do you think about the Angels?
Perhaps; but few would deny (except Michael Gove I dare say!) that it was still a catastrophe on a monumental scale. By the time it broke out there may have been an inevitability about it but it was still a disastrous consequence of decades of human greed and imperial brinkmanship . My great uncle died near Bethune and my maternal grandfather later died from an infection contracted either in the trenches or as a POW. I do not feel anyone is disrespecting them as individuals just because they are critical of the mindset of the world leaders of the day. After all, such criticism encompasses The Kaiser and his cronies as much as anyone else. Anyway - to return to the letter - what do you think about the Angels? Seadog
  • Score: 2

11:59pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Pinza-C55 says...

Angels would be supernatural and would by definition involve a suspension of the laws of physics, which would mean they were no longer laws but temporary guidelines.
If you google James Randi Challenge he has offered a million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate psychic or paranormal phenomena under scientific conditions. To date nobody has been able to so. The people who report such events are therefore either hallucinating, lying or confused.
Angels would be supernatural and would by definition involve a suspension of the laws of physics, which would mean they were no longer laws but temporary guidelines. If you google James Randi Challenge he has offered a million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate psychic or paranormal phenomena under scientific conditions. To date nobody has been able to so. The people who report such events are therefore either hallucinating, lying or confused. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 2

12:09am Fri 31 Jan 14

Lineker's Lad says...

I understood that the first reference to the 'Angels of Mons' was in a story about the battle of Mons that was published a couple of years later and was linked to a drive to encourage the British public to buy War Bonds. It's interesting to note in the original letter that reference is made to an old soldier who was there and actually saw them. In deference to the gentleman concerned you've got to respect what he reports seeing first hand.
In response to Pinza-C55's letter I would suggest that you couldn't imagine conditions further removed from 'scientific conditions' than those at Mons.
I guess that 100 years on all you can say is that it's an intriguing episode.
I understood that the first reference to the 'Angels of Mons' was in a story about the battle of Mons that was published a couple of years later and was linked to a drive to encourage the British public to buy War Bonds. It's interesting to note in the original letter that reference is made to an old soldier who was there and actually saw them. In deference to the gentleman concerned you've got to respect what he reports seeing first hand. In response to Pinza-C55's letter I would suggest that you couldn't imagine conditions further removed from 'scientific conditions' than those at Mons. I guess that 100 years on all you can say is that it's an intriguing episode. Lineker's Lad
  • Score: 1

4:54pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Pinza-C55 says...

"In deference to the gentleman concerned you've got to respect what he reports seeing first hand."
No you don't. If I told you Elvis Presley was alive and living in Acomb where he was cunningly disguised as an Elvis impersonator, you could
A) Respect my report.
B) Laugh your head off.
C) Maintain eye contact and back towards the door.
Which would you choose?
Here is Neil Degrasse Tyson on UFOs and eye witness testimony -
http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=NSJElZwEI
8o
"In response to Pinza-C55's letter I would suggest that you couldn't imagine conditions further removed from 'scientific conditions' than those at Mons."
That's my point. Miracles, or any aspect of the paranormal such as psychics, cannot be demonstrated under scientific or controlled conditions so why should you give any credence to reports from 100 years ago?
"I guess that 100 years on all you can say is that it's an intriguing episode."
Not even that. It's just a silly story.
Here's the full story http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Angels_of_M
ons
"In deference to the gentleman concerned you've got to respect what he reports seeing first hand." No you don't. If I told you Elvis Presley was alive and living in Acomb where he was cunningly disguised as an Elvis impersonator, you could A) Respect my report. B) Laugh your head off. C) Maintain eye contact and back towards the door. Which would you choose? Here is Neil Degrasse Tyson on UFOs and eye witness testimony - http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=NSJElZwEI 8o "In response to Pinza-C55's letter I would suggest that you couldn't imagine conditions further removed from 'scientific conditions' than those at Mons." That's my point. Miracles, or any aspect of the paranormal such as psychics, cannot be demonstrated under scientific or controlled conditions so why should you give any credence to reports from 100 years ago? "I guess that 100 years on all you can say is that it's an intriguing episode." Not even that. It's just a silly story. Here's the full story http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Angels_of_M ons Pinza-C55
  • Score: -1

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