René de Segonzac

Marquis Édouard Marie René Bardon de Segonzac (7 September 1867 – 27 March 1962) was a French army officer and explorer. He studied at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr before being commissioned and serving in the Ivory Coast where he was accused and acquitted of the murder of a fellow officer. He became renowned as an explorer and adventurer in Morocco and was also posted to Tunisia. In the First World War, he became a pilot and received the Legion of Honour and the Croix de Guerre.


Édouard Marie René Bardon de Segonzac
Born(1867-09-07)7 September 1867
Cuy, Oise, France
Died27 March 1962(1962-03-27) (aged 94)
Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium
Service/branchFrench Army

Early lifeEdit

Édouard Marie René Bardon de Segonzac was born in the Château des Essarts in Cuy, Oise on 7 September 1867.[1][2] His parents were Édouard and Mathilde des Rioul de Segonzac.[2] He entered military service in 1886, studying at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr and being in the first class to graduate from the Châlons-en-Champagne campus in 1889.[2][3] Upon receiving his commission he joined the cavalry and served in the occupation of San Pédro on the Ivory Coast in 1892.[3] In October 1893, he was tried for the murder of Lieutenant Quiquerez but was acquitted of all charges against him.[4] Sometime thereafter de Segonzac returned to France before leaving from Marseille in November 1904 to serve in the winter campaign in Morocco.[5]

First World WarEdit

During the First World War, de Segonzac served as a captain in the French military aviation corps.[2] During the war he listed his address as Rue Dumont D'urville in Paris and in 1915 was posted to Chartres for a while.[2] He was married and his wife, the Comtesse de Segonzac, resided in Compiegne.[2] He remained a member of the Vieilles Tiges pilots association after the war.[6] De Segonzac received the Legion of Honour and the Croix de Guerre during his military career and held several foreign decorations.[2] He also held campaign medals for Tunisia and Morocco.[2]

Later lifeEdit

De Segonzac became renowned as an explorer and adventurer and may have served as the inspiration for Lieutenant André de Saint-Avit in Pierre Benoit's Atlantida, in which one French officer murders another.[7] He was also a writer publishing several books such as Voyages au Maroc (1899-1901) (Voyages in Morocco) in 1903 and La Légende de Florinda la Byzantine (The legend of Florinda the Byzantine) in 1928, the latter illustrated by H. Zworykine and with a preface written by Marshal Hubert Lyautey.[8][9]


  1. ^ Noblesse Française (1873). État présent de la noblesse française, contenant le dictionnaire de la noblesse contemporaine. Bachelin-Deflorenne (in French). p. 115.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Record Card of René de Segonzac". Mémoire des hommes (in French). French Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b Puaux, M. Frank (1892). Revue Chrétienne. Recueil Mensuel (in French). Paris: Bureau de la Revue Chrétienne. p. 284.
  4. ^ "L'affaire Quiquerez - de Segonzac". Journal des débats politiques et littéraires (in French): 3. 9 October 1893.
  5. ^ Zimmerman, Maurice (1905). "Mission du comité du Maroc. Explorations de MM. de Segonzac, Gentil, de Flotte de Roquevaire". Annales de Géographie (in French). 14 (75).
  6. ^ Association Amicale des Pilotes Aviateurs d'Avant-Guerre (1924). Les Vieilles Tiges Annuaire 1924 (in French). Paris.
  7. ^ Mayet (Secrétaire Général), Charles (1891). Le Magasin Pittoresque (in French). Paris: Jouvet and Company. p. 11.
  8. ^ "Voyages au Maroc (1899-1901) (1903)" (in French). Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  9. ^ La Légende de Florinda la Byzantine (in French). Google Books. Retrieved 22 December 2012.