This is an early 20th century image of my husband’s grandfather Giovanni Franchini (son of the opera tenor Antonio Franchini) in military uniform.
- was in the Italian Cavalry
(Cavallegeri di Lucca)
rank – second lieutenant
served in Libya in 1913
- was transferred to the Alpini rank – officer (additional info. below)
served from 1915-1918
- Giovanni’s son Antonio said that his father never wanted to transfer to the Alpini because he loved horses. The transfer was imposed by the military.
Is there a way to access the military records of the Lucca Cavalry and\or the Alpini?
Can anyone identify the uniform in the photograph?
Information from a reader
“Thank you Evelyn for posting Nonno Giannetto’s picture.
One small correction from information I received from other sources. My grandfather was not really in the Alpini but rather, a corps affiliated with the Alpini, hence the Tyrolean hat featured in another photograph (I’ll scan it as soon as possible) An Italian military historian recognized the badge on the hat as belonging to the the equivalent of the Service Corps charged with running supplies to the front (with mules!).
During WW1 the cavalry was almost totally disbanded because all the fighting was at high altitude in the Alps, and, since mules look a lot like horses (at least in the view of some bureaucrat in Rome) most of them were transferred to this corps.”