David Clarke

Tuesday, August 2 2011 at 7:30PM

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54 Canal Street,
NG1 7EH.

David Clarke

What's the talk about?

In 1914, as German troops advanced through Belgium, they met at Mons with the British Expeditionary Force. Ill-prepared and vastly outnumbered, the British troops were forced to retreat, with little hope of saving the lives of those at the Front. It was in these circumstances that many of the wounded and dying soldiers, brought back from the Western Front, reported having been rescued by strange angelic forms in the sky that protected them from massacre.

Since then The Angels of Mons has remained one of the best-known legends of 20th century warfare, but the mystery remains. Did British soldiers really see angels, saints and bowmen leading them against the Germans? Or were the stories the result of hallucinations experienced by battle-wearing men, carefully planted propaganda or simply the misinterpretation of a short story in a London evening newspaper?

David Clarke is the course leader and senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University where he teaches media law and investigation skills.