About me & this Blog

My name is François-Xavier Bernard and I am a French citizen living in Italy.


When I am not stuck in my home-office, my main occupation is the study of World War 1. I am the author of some articles published in France and in Italy, mainly about the action of French troops in Italy during the war.

I am a compulsive collector of postcards and photographs taken during the conflict. Some of them may have been used in previous articles or will be in future ones; I’ve decided to share them thru this blog. I’ll try to publish a photograph per day, with a minimal description.

Enjoy this blog and don’t hesitate to contact me!


16 thoughts on “About me & this Blog

  1. Bonjour FX, come stai? Congratulazioni per questa tua nuova iniziativa, nell’attesa di nuove immagini e a tua disposizione con la mia modesta collezzione di cartes postales e fotografie,
    ti rinnovo i miei complimenti e ti invio i miei più cordiali saluti.
    Stefano Branchi

  2. Grazie Stefano! Vedo quanto tempo riesco a reggere con la mia collezione, poi vediamo come inserire le tue! Caso mai potrebbe essere interessante inserire foto tue nei miei post se c’è un collegamento logico con le foto pubblicate…

    A presto,


  3. I have just started going back through your blogroll – some great content, some of it very unique and unusual. Keep this up for students of the visual history of WW1 around the world! Thank you.
    Helen Hales

  4. I just found your blog thru a Google search. I was trying to get a better understanding of my grandfathers WWI Italian discharge papers. I am 65 and trying to pull together as much geneology as I can for my succeeding generations. One of the documents I have is a copy of his discharge from 1919 that is exactly like the one shown in your blog. However there are some indications on it that he had some interaction with the Italian Consulate in NY in 1920, which from what I can translate paid some or all of the cost of travel either to or from NY. The story in my family is that he was a POW in America, and this might support that and explain why I can not find any documentation of him emigrating here. Can you possibly help me decipher some of this?

    • F-Xavier, my friend! It is now 2 years later. Your generous help and insightful analysis of my grandfathers WW1 Italian discharge in 2012 led me into the world of my families genealogy. I learned that he returned to Italy in 1917 from America to fight for the fatherland, and within weeks was immersed in the Battle of Caporetto and became a POW in Austria. At wars end he was released and on his own made his way down the entire Italian peninsula to return to my grandmother in Bari. Thanks to you I am about to enter the 300th person to my family tree as a result of learning his story. I and my whole family thank you!

  5. Dear FX,
    I am another history fan living in Mersin, Turkey. Cruiser Ernest Renan was in this area after WWI, specifically in 1919-21. Do you have details about thecruiser’s action in this period?

  6. Hello, I love your blog-initiative. You may be interested in the Memoteca Piandelbruscolo project (a collection of photographs, things, recipes) that aims at telling (apparently) ordinary stories which make up the so-called ‘history’. Not to forget where we come from. The project was started by my sister Cristina in a few municipalities of our Province (Pesaro and Urbino) and I often devote posts to her initiatives, again, not to forget where we come from.
    My grandfather Carlo was ‘cavaliere di Vittorio Veneto’ and right in this area was part of the WW2 Gothic Line.
    I am going to follow you with interest and pleasure.
    Best wishes!

  7. 11 September 2013
    Hello, I am 65 (probably the only relative), and the English granddaughter of:
    Private J E TONKIN, 2068, 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
    My grandfather Died 5 August 1918, aged 36. He is buried in Boscon British Cemetery – Plot 2. Row A, Grave 1.
    He left a wife (my maternal grandmother) and my then 10 year old mother. All 3 of us have never been able to visit his grave. All photographs and further information on Asiago would be appreciated. I feel sad that no one has ever been able to pay their personal respects and lay flowers on his grave.

    • Hello,

      many thanks for your message. I’ll forward it to my friends and contacts who live on the Asiago Plateau, we’ll be happy to pay homage to your grandfather and send you a photograph of his grave. I’ll prepare a list of books to read too!

      Very kind regards


  8. Bonjour,
    Belle collection, bravo !
    Concernant l’Italie et la grande guerre, comment retrouver un poilu italien ayant combattu en France?
    Je recherche Francois Antonucci (ou Antonici) né en 1875 à Torraca, inscrit sur le monument aux morts de Saint-Gely Hérault.

    @guepier92 sur Twitter

    • Bonsoir,

      c’est bien la première fois sur un soldat dont le nom se trouve à la fois sur un Monument aux Morts français et son équivalent italien :
      Comme je n’ai pas trouvé de fiche sur MdH, je pense qu’il s’agissait d’un italien émigré en France, domicilié à Saint-Gely, et qui rentra en Italie après 1915. Son acte de décès indique-t-il où/quand il est décédé ? Du côté italien, le plus simple serait de commencer par contacter l’état-civil de cette commune, si on tombe sur quelqu’un de sympa ça permettrait de faire rapidement des progrès…



      • Génial ce lien !
        Je n’ai pas sa date de deces, seul le nom et prénom sont inscrits sur le monument aux morts. Je sais par le recensement de 1911 qu’il était marié à Ancela Maria BIFANO née 1882 avec 5 enfants nés entre 1903 et 1911.

        En tout cas merci. Je vais essayer de contacter la commune.


  9. hello my name is Richard Portante. I am quite interested in WW1 in the dolomites.

    I spent some time there on business and cannot wait to return this time as a tourist. any suggestions about where to start in regards to the battles around Venice,

    Grazia and Mercei

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