In 1997 an archaeological survey conducted on an industrial zone in Braine (Aisne) revealed three oval pits, each containing the intact skeleton of an adult horse. These graves were arranged in a line, with only 70 metres between the two most distant pits. The proximity of the 1914-1918 frontline, the shell fragments found in one of the graves and the absence of horseshoes and harnesses (always recovered) as well as the fact that a few of the hooves were damaged suggested that these were light cavalry horses killed by enemy artillery fire and buried in situ.

The area around Braine was not directly affected by the trench war, with the front line remaining fixed a few miles north at Chemin des Dames between October 1914 and May 1918. It thus seemed reasonable to link the demise of the Braine horses to the latter stages of the Marne counter-offensive, around 13th September 1914. On this date the advance of the British army led by Field Marshal French, which had driven the Germans back from Meaux, was halted on the high ground between the Vesle and Aisne rivers, overlooking Braine. The British cavalry sustained a few losses but retained control of this sector, having time to recover the horseshoes and bury the dead horses. They also managed, not without considerable difficulty, to push the enemy back to the Aisne, where the front line remained for the next three years.