Original Italy WWI Era Royal Italian Army War Merit Cross, Victory Medal And Document Grouping for Soldato Novia Domenico - 11 Items
Original Items: Only One Group of 11 Available. This is a fantastic document heavy grouping attributed to an Italian Soldier only known to us as Soldato Novia Domenico. We have not been able to translate the documents properly, but with the military ones there could very well be a unit present.
The Royal Italian Army was the land force of the Kingdom of Italy, established with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. During the 19th century Italy started to unify into one country, and in 1861 Manfredo Fanti signed a decree creating the Army of the Two Sicilies. This newly created army's first task was to defend against the repressive power in southern Italy. The Army of the Two Sicilies combated against criminals and other armies during this time of unification. After the monarchy ended in 1946, the army changed its name to become the modern Italian Army (Esercito Italiano).
The Items In This Grouping:
- Italian War Merit Cross With Document (2 Items): The medal is in wonderful, moderately worn condition with a lightly stained ribbon though it is still solid. The document however has not stood the test of time much like the medal. The document is extremely worn faded, torn and water stained. A majority of the writing and text can still be read.
The Italian War Merit Cross was awarded to members of the armed forces with a minimum of one year's service in contact with an enemy, or who received the Medal of the Wounded, or to those who, when mentioned for war merit, received a promotion. Also, if an act of valor was deemed insufficient for the Medal of Military Valor, the War Merit Cross could be awarded instead; from 1922 onwards a bronze sword on the ribbon showed this class of award.
The War Merit Cross was in bronze, 38mm wide (1-1/2 inches). The reverse side bears a 5-pointed star on a background of rays. The obverse has the royal cypher ("VE III" under a crown) in the upper arm, "MERITO DI GVERRA" (War Merit) on the horizontal arms and a Roman sword point upwards, on oak leaves, in the lower arm. The ribbon is blue with white stripes. While the later originally were five within months they were reduced to two white stripes. Successive awards, three awardings being the maximum, were indicated by one or two bronze royal crowns. During World War II, the War Merit Cross underwent a number of significant changes. The number of awardings was limited to ten, indicated by a combination of bronze, silver and gold crowns. The medal received another change under the Italian Republic in 1947, the royal cypher being replaced by the intertwined letters "RI" for Repubblica Italiana. Limited to three awardings once again, with one cross or bar for every war allowed, multiple awards were shown by bronze stars. In the current form multiple awards are shown by silver stars.
- Italian Allied Victory Medal: The medal is in great condition with a near excellent ribbon, though there is minor fraying at the top and the medal itself is tarnished, neither of which subtract from the beauty.
The Allied Victory Medal was the Italian variant of the Victory Medal of other nations. It was established by royal decree number 1918 on 16 December 1920, which granted it to all who had been awarded the "fatiche di guerra" distinction by royal decree number 641 of 21 May 1916, or who had served for four months in an area under the jurisdiction of the armed forces and who had been mobilized and directly worked with the operational army.
A public competition to design it was won by Gaetano Orsolini, with his design of 'Victory on a triumphal chariot, with the torch of liberty, drawn by four yoked lions'.
The documents in the grouping are all attributed to Soldato Domenico and the passports do contain his photograph. The documents include post war dated examples as well as (3) different passport / Identification paper type booklets. The passports do have stamps in them but he does not appear to have done much traveling. There is a possibility that he was involved in WWII due to what looks like late 1920s to early 1930 dates present, but we are uncertain as we have not been able to locate any service information on him. The documents do have tearing present and are rather brittle so do handle with care.
Comes more than ready for further research and display.
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