History of the Briard
PAGE 2
The 1884 writings of Edouard Alfred Martel (1859-1938)
(french lawyer and Famous Speleologist)
The Black Causse and Montpellier-The-Old
One evening in August 1884, the ruins of the church Saint-Jean-de-Balme; this construction of the eleventh
century
, altered and increased with thirteenth, will highly interest the archaeologists by his square bell-tower, its
thick walls, its double blind arcades in semicircular arch and the manifest influence that one recognizes Romance
style there auvergnat. It is the revolution which degraded it: its massive tower and its dilapidated vaults are of a
great effect in wild loneliness of causse, with 900 meters of altitude. It is told that at the end of last century the
old priest of Saint-Jean-of-Balme was assassinated and buried in front of his church even by gangsters who
reflect then the hermitage with bag: its dog, say the old men of the country, went down in Peyreleau and made
as well by its singular moanings and its horse-gears as several people, suspecting a catastrophe, followed the
intelligent animal until Midsummer's Day; there, close to the porch of the plundered church, the poor animal
started convulsivement to scrape a coldly stirred up ground corner; the peasants included/understood then, and
thus they could collect the remainders from worthy the 1 priest and return the last duties to him. It is added, of
course, that the dog died by re-examining the body of its Master and that the assassins were found and carried
out. Legend or truth, the anecdote is curious to collect in these stony deserts of causses: wasn't
the dog of
Saint-Jean-de-Balme
same family as that of Aubry de Montdidier, than the history celebrated under the name of
dog of Montargis?
In 1896, the first shepherd dog club was founded in France. This club published in 1897 the first
Shepherd de Brie standard.
En 1896, le premier Club du chien de Berger fut fondé en France. Ce club publia en
1897 le premier standard du Berger de Brie.
During the First World War, the Briard was revealed to be a remarkable war dog. Many Briards
died, victims of their heroism. Several of them died from exhaustion because of their trait of
working to excess in order to perform and complete their tasks. In tribute,
the head of a Briard
is cast in the metallic door of a French military cemetery
.
Au cours de la première guerre mondiale, le Briard se révéla être un chien de guerre
remarquable. De nombreux Briards moururent, victimes de leur héroïsme. En
hommage, la tête d'un Briard fut coulée dans la porte métallique d'un cimetière militaire
Français.
World War I
The role of the Briard as a war dog in
France is well documented. They excelled
at the gruesome job of searching through
the bodies at battlefields to locate injured
soldiers.
In this painting by Jean Etienne
Mondineu (1872-1940) an injured soldier
is seen taking an injured Briard to the
Blue Cross camp. The Blue Cross being
at that time the animal equivlent of the
human Red Cross.
Le rôle du Briard comme un chien de guerre
bien est documenté en France. Ils ont excellé
au travail macabre de chercher par les corps
aux champs de bataille pour localiser
soldats.dans blessé ce tableau par Jean
Etienne Mondineu (1872-1940) un soldat
blessé est vu prenant un Briard blessé au camp
de Croix Bleu. La Croix Bleue est à que
chronomètre l'equivlent animal de la
Croix-rouge humaine.
At the present, several Briard breeders and owners from around the world are in search of
photos that may show one of many tributes to the Briard breed. Within these articles,
highlighted in
blue, are some of the historical treasures.
If anyone has knowledge of existing photos that show a tribute to the Briard, PLEASE
pass along this information, as it will be greatly appreciated.
Several other stories have expanded our search. Below is a list of possible locations
which may have a Briard, (or a part of), sculpted, carved and/or cast into part of their
structure. Many of these may have been destroyed during the war. So, an existing photo
showing these items, IS, the main objective of our search.
le Cimetiere des Chiens d'Asnieres-Sur-Seine
Chateau de Chateaudun
Cimetiere de Chateaudun
Coat of Arms for ville de Montdidier ( prior to 1949 )
All french to english translations provided by Jil Bohn.
                              "Le Causse Noir et Montpellier-le-Vieux"
Un soir d'août 1884, aux ruins de l'église Saint-Jean-de-Balme; cette construction du onzième siècle, remaniée
et augmentée au treizième, intéressera vivement les archéologues par son clocher carré, ses épaisses murailles,
ses arcatures doubles en plein cintre et l'influence manifeste qu'on y reconnaît du style roman auvergnat. C'est la
révolution qui l'a dégradée : sa tour massive et ses voûtes délabrées sont d'un grand effet dans la solitude
sauvage du causse, à 900 mètres d'altitude. On raconte qu'à la fin du siècle dernier le vieux curé de
Saint-Jean-de-Balme fut assassiné et enterré devant son église même par des bandits qui mirent ensuite
l'ermitage à sac : son chien, disent les vieillards du pays, descendit à Peyreleau et fit tant par ses gémissements
et ses manèges singuliers que plusieurs personnes, soupçonnant une catastrophe, suivirent l'intelligent animal
jusqu'à Saint-Jean; là, près du porche de l'église pillée, la pauvre bête se mit à gratter convulsivement un coin
de terre fraîchement remuée; les paysans comprirent alors, et c'est ainsi qu'ils purent recueillir les restes du
vénérable 1 prêtre et lui rendre les derniers devoirs. On ajoute, bien entendu, que le chien mourut en revoyant
le corps de son maître et que les assassins furent retrouvés et exécutés. Légende ou vérité, l'anecdote est
curieuse à recueillir dans ces déserts pierreux des causses : le chien de Saint-Jean-de-Balme n'était-il pas de la
même famille que celui d'Aubry de Montdidier, que l'histoire a célébré sous le nom de chien de Montargis?