At the start of the 20th century, the ironmaster and Haute-Marne government deputy launched a public appeal to raise funds for a monument to be erected in the town hall square to commemorate the 1544 siege.
Small scale models were open to public viewing and the sculptor Carillon, an associate of Ferrant, the architect, was chosen. The iron casting was undertaken by Capitain-Geny, Ironmaster in Vecqueville-Bussy. (Now the Ferry-Capitain ironworks.)
In front are the three commanders, the Count of Sancerre, military governor, his lieutenant Captain Lalande and Marini, the royal engineer.
The soldiers, woman and child representing the resistance are shown behind. A young woman symbolizing St. Dizier stands erect on a pedestal designed to represent the ramparts.
The 1544 siege, a historic battle.
During the summer of 1544, the Imperial army of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, at war with Francis I of France, invaded St. Dizier, the town bordering the French Kingdom. Nearly 42,000 soldiers were ranged in front of the walled town troops and inhabitants, comprising at most 4,400 men, women and children. Their attackers were of different nationalities, badly coordinated and poorly supported. This assault was fought off for more than a month by the town inhabitants, rising in grievous loss of life on both sides. This resistance gave the French troop’s time to regroup and protect Paris. Francis I awarded the city its own coat of arms in recognition of its bravery. The blazon depicts a blue background with a silver triple-towered castle outlined in black. The devise reads: ‘Regnum Sustinent’ (‘they supported the kingdom’).
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