ROUSER has heard some weird stories over the years but this one surely takes the biscuit. It comes from the East Sussex Village Book, written by old comrade Rupert Taylor and published by Countryside Books:
The strange tale of the ‘phenomenon in the sky’ made the village of Firle the focus of world attention during World War Two.
Several people were witness to the vision of the crucified Christ appearing in the sky surrounded by angels, and a Mrs Steer was able to tell a Southern Weekly News reporter: ‘I happened to go outside my back door and noticed a white streak or road across the sky. Then, gradually, I saw a cross appear, standing upright, with Christ upon it. ‘Shortly afterwards there were six angels on each side of Him. It quite frightened me at first. I felt quite ill and I called my neighbour to look at it.’
Mrs Steer said the figure of Christ had the head drooping to one side: ‘I could see the nails in His feet and in His hands, and the angels were so plain I could see their fingers and their toes. Their wings reached almost to the ground. One of the angels had what appeared to be a harp and another had her arms outstretched towards Christ.’
She said the vision did not seem to be a cloud formation. It did not move. The picture appeared gradually and then slowly faded away, lasting in all about two minutes.
Strangely reminiscent of the Angel of Mons in World War One, the vision appeared at about 11am on the first Sunday in September, 1940, and on the anniversary of the outbreak of war a year earlier.