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Arthur Machen’s Bowmen and the Angels of Mons

Of all the memorable stories to emerge from World War I, the most remarkable one is untrue. The Angels of Mons is a legend that emerged from one writer’s ability to weave gripping ghostly stories. This particular tale gripped a nation badly in need of hope. For some, fiction became reality.

In September 1914, two months after the outbreak of the Great War, Welsh journalist and author Arthur Machen published a short story called The Bowmen in the London Evening News. It describes how phantom archers from the Battle of Agincourt had come to the rescue of British soldiers fighting against the Germans in the Battle of Mons a month earlier. This video sheds a little more light on a legend that spilled from a story in a newspaper. Learn more.

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