​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​enrico-toti

​Trench and  Dolina of the Seletta Quota 85 "Enrico Toti"

A deep trench in rock reinforced by concrete parapets made by the Italian units in August 1916, on the previous Austrian excavation. In the rear sinkhole ​there were some artillery positions and the ​ruins of the barracks.

It represents the link between the strongholds of the quotas 121 and 85; it was ​impassable for more than one year for the Italian troops that ​concentrated there their efforts​

Enrico Toti

Gold Medal ​to the Military Valo​ur

(Rome 1882 - Monfal​​cone 19​16).

Even if he was without a leg for an accident at work, he ​​enlisted as volunteer in the ​​Bersaglieri cyclists ​and he fell in Monfalcone at the beginning of the battle for the conquest of Gorizia; before dying he launched the crutch ​​against the enemy​​.

He was born in Rome in 1882. When he was fourteen years old he enlisted in the Royal Navy as electrician. After having retired, he passed in Railways as stoker but he had a serious accident that led to the amputation of the left leg.

In spite of the disablement, he was not discouraged and directed his life to other interests.

He continued the interrupted studies and in the meantime he invented objects of everyday life (security patch for horses, a protector for bicycles, patented relics that are now at the Bersaglieri Museum).

Another particular aspect of Enrico Toti's life was his passion for the jo

urneys.

Even if he was devoid of a leg, by his bicycle he crossed farther lands and it inspired awe considering his disablement.

He left Italy with a few financial means, having a lot of difficulties.

He described his situation to 9th January 1912 as follows: "I remained stuck by ice for two days in a country cottage and, after having walked for 15 km I arrived to Streinstrasse by falling more than 20 times along the way; but they are slight falls on the snow; I stand up and I continue to walk".

But his journey was stopped. When he arrived to the centre of Sudan, overcoming many obstacles by his bicycle and with his fortitude, the British Authorities denied him the permission to continue alone without body guards. So he came back to Italy unwillingly.

There he dedicated to the installation of an industry for wood works that gave him a quiet and well-off life. It was 1914.

When the hostilities broke out, for the first time he resented of his disablement.

Even he wore the uniform to leave for the front.

He said to his family: "I will recommend that they will fight also for me; I feel strong with energy and it seemed cowardice if I remain inactive".

He went to the warzone with all the equipment to join the Alpines.

But he could not reach the area because of the enemy fire. He went to the trench by hoping to be joined to some corps.

In order to be useful he caught Austrian guns and munitions and he took them to the Command in Cervignano. He was in Gorizia, Sagrato, on the hill of Castelnuovo, in the most fierce battles, to check the efficiency of the telephone cables and hoping to capture some spies.

Because his reckless attitude, the Command forced him to come back to Rome and remain there until when he obtained a regular permission by the Ministry of War. In that way he entered the 3rd Cyclists Bersaglieri Battalion.

When he was to the front he wrote patriotic letters to his family, friends and newspapers.

He participated in all of the battles with valor and courage. In August 1916 his Commander wrote about him. "During the battles he rendered valuable services to the fighters; he has always talked about the love for the Country to the Bersaglieri".

On 6th August 1916 he wanted to go with his friends on the quota 85, over Monfalcone.

He fought tenaciously in trench. Even if he was wounded, he continued to fight, inciting his friends; after having been wounded for the second and third times, he fell down launching his crutch against the enemy.

On 24th May 1922 his body, at first in the cemetery of Monfalcone, was transported to Rome for the solemn funeral.

In his memory a bronze monument was erected in Rome, his hometown, in the Pincio gardens.

On 27th August 1916, he was awarded with the Gold Medal to the Military Valor, with the following motivation:

"Volunteer, even if he was devoid of a leg, he rendered valuable services in the battle of April at quota 70 (to the east of Selz) and  on 6th August in the battle that led to the occupation of quota 85 (to the east of Monfalcone). In the enemy trench, he continued to fight ardently even if he was wounded twice. Shot dead by a third bullet, he launched heroically his crutch to the enemy and died by kissing the plumage of his hat. Monfalcone, 6th August 1916".

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