I'm hoping to learn the time period of the photo, any division, rank, and any other information y'all can glean. The photo was passed down so much information has been lost - it is possibly my grandfather's first cousin. Our family is Sicilian.

The back includes where the photo was developed in Torino, and "set 1939" (possibly the year?). I can read "Ricordo...Francesco" on the back but that's all I can decipher of the handwriting. The photograph is about 6x4".

I was also wondering if there was recommended place to search for Italian military records.

Thank you very much/Grazie mile!

Italian soldier formal portrait holding a sword standing next to a helmet on a stand covered in roses

back of photograph with address in Torino, "set 1939" and scribbly writing in Italian

  • 3
    Not my period, and not a field I have any experience with but boots & jodhpurs scream cavalry to me. If that is a saber in his hands and a horse head on the left sleeve, that would support that hypothesis. cf this helmet I wonder if the 692R on the plant stand is significant? @kimchilover is correct, it is 692R
    – MCW
    Mar 13, 2023 at 14:21
  • 2
    I agree with MCW, but think the number is 692R. The rank might be Sottotenente, the most junior officer rank in the Italian army in 1939. Mar 14, 2023 at 1:43
  • The handwriting is quite difficult but I believe it's on two columns, maybe "Ricordo (del) nostro nipotte (...) non si scorda mai" and "(Mameli?) Francesco di Antonino".
    – Myopicus
    Mar 14, 2023 at 6:21
  • 1
    1.: comandosupremo.com/regio-esercito-uniforms suggests I was wrong about the rank. 2: The same source says the arm badge might be a specialty insignia, and the lack of rank insignia on the arm might indicate the person was a new recruit. 3: the "SET 1939" in the back of the photo might mean "September 1939" Mar 14, 2023 at 14:49
  • 1
    My guess is that the 692R is just the photographer's serial so they could send out the right pictures if doing a large batch at once; it feels very high to be a unit number Mar 15, 2023 at 14:58


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