Rare Signed Postcard of Enrico Toti, One-Legged Cyclist and World War I Hero
Rare Signed Postcard of Enrico Toti, One-Legged Cyclist and World War I Hero

Rare Signed Postcard of Enrico Toti, One-Legged Cyclist and World War I Hero

Unused postcard, 3.5 x 5.5 inches, with a half-tone photograph of Enrico Toti and his bicycle on the front, short printed text in Danish on the back. Signed by Toti in pencil on the front. Mild scuffing, very good. Enrico Toti was born in Rome in 1882, and lost his left leg in a work-related accident at the age of 24. "After his injury he became a cyclist. In 1911, riding on a bicycle with one leg, he cycled to Paris, and then through Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, up to Finland and Lapland. From there, via Russia and Poland, he returned to Italy in June 1912. In January 1913 Toti started cycling again, this time in Egypt; from Alexandria, he reached the border with Sudan where the English authorities, considering the trail too dangerous, ordered him to end the journey and sent him to Cairo where he came back to Italy. When war broke out between Italy and the Austrian Empire, Toti tried to volunteer for the Italian army but was not accepted due to his injury. Undaunted, he reached the frontline with his bicycle and managed to serve as an unpaid, unregistered, fully non-regulation "civilian volunteer" attached to several units. Forced to leave the combat zone and return home by the Carabinieri (Military Police), Toti stubbornly returned to the front and finally managed to join (still unofficially) the 3rd Bersaglieri Bicycle Battalion. He was killed in the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo...He was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor" (Wikipedia). Oddly, the caption on the front of this card translates into English as "Remembrance of the one-legged world cyclist Enrico Toti with his companion August Luke"--yet August Luke, an athlete Toti met in Berlin and traveled with for some time--is not actually in the picture.

Item #21371

Price: $100.00