Michele Abiuso of Gambatesa, Carabiniere
Michele Abiuso was the oldest son of Giovanni Abiuso and Giuseppina Capuano of Gambatesa. He was born in 1911. [Photograph of Michele Abiuso and his parents from 1921]
Above: Michele Abiuso when he was a student at the school for carabiniere in Rome (March-September 1930) in the full dress uniform (grande uniforma) still used by the carabinieri today.
Below: Michele Abiuso as a student at the carabiniere school in Rome, 1930. The box hat he is wearing is called un képi in French.
Curriculum vitae di ABIUSO Michele
Nato a Gambatesa il 21 giugno 1911 morto a Gambatesa il 10 febbraio 1945 = Michele ABIUSO was born in Gambatesa on the 21st of June 1911, and died in Gambatesa on the 10th of February 1945
Trascrizione dal Libretto Personale di Carabiniere = Transcription of the Carabiniere Personal Booklet [of Michele Abiuso of Gambatesa]
ARMA DEI CARABINIERI REALI = Royal Carabinieri Force
LIBRETTO PERSONALE = Personal Booklet
di Abiuso Michele = of Michele Abiuso
Figlio di Giovanni e di Capuano Giuseppina = Child of Giovanni [Abiuso] and Giuseppina Capuano.
Nato addì: 21 giugno 1911 nel Comune di Gambatesa = Born on the 21st of June 1911 in the Municipality of Gambatesa.
Circondario di Campobasso = District of Campobasso.
Distretto Militare di Campobasso = Military District of Campobasso.
Domiciliato prima dell'arruolamento a: Gambatesa = Domiciled before enlistment in: Gambatesa.
Circondario di Campobasso = District of Campobasso.
Religione: Cattolica = Religion: Roman Catholic.
Professione o condizione: massaro = Profession or station in life: farmer.
Se celibe, ammogliato o vedovo: celibe = Whether unmarried, married or widower: unmarried.
Ha prestato giuramento di fedeltà in Roma Legione Allievi Carabinieri Reali = Oath of Loyalty taken in Rome Legion of Students of the Royal Carabiniere.
Lì 30-04-1930 = The day of April 30, 1930
Il Capitano = Captain
Comandante la Compagnia = Company Commander
Stato di servizio ("Service Record")
Allievo Carabiniere dal 3-3-1930 al 14-9-1930 = Student Carabiniere from 3 March 1930 to 14 September 1930.
Carabiniere 15-9-1930 1-3-1933 = Carabiniere 15 September 1930 to 1 March 1933.
Congedo illimitato 2-3-1933 = Unlimited Discharge 2 March 1934.
Congedo assoluto 3-5-1934 = Final Discharge 3 May 1934.
Totale servizio: a.2 m.11.gg.29 = Total service: 2 years, 11 months, 29 days.
Photographs and transcription courtesy of Orlando Abiuso, November 2003
What is the Carabinieri?
Notes by Angelo Abiuso (Geneva)
Italy has two national police forces: the Polizia di Stato ("State Police") and the Carabinieri. The name Carabinieri doesn't translate into other languages. In French we say Les Carabinier Italiens or Les Caribinieri. It must be the same in English.
Some members of the Swiss Army belong to the Compagnie de Carabiniers, but that word here has its original army meaning of "a soldier with a carbine rifle" (they are supposed to be excellent marksmen, but I think the name is only retained for historical reasons). The Swiss Carabiniers is now the equivalent of the Italian Bersaglieri ("Light-infantry").
Do the Carabinieri only police civilians or do they also police soldiers? Both. They are like the French Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale). Their functions in society are identical.
Before Mussolini there was no civilian police force in Italy; there was only the military police (i.e. the Carabinieri), who policed both Italian soldiers and civilians. [This is why it was a carabiniere who caught run-away Pinocchio by the nose and took him home to Gepetto.] But Mussolini did not trust the Carabinieri; he thought they were too committed to the king (When Italy was still a kingdom the Carabinieri took an oath of loyalty to the king of Italy). It was because of his mistrust that Mussolini created Italy's Polizia di Stato.
But the Polizia di Stato, like France's Police Nationale, only police cities, not the countryside and its villages. The Carabinieri, who are still Italy's military police (M.P.s), police the civilian countryside. (I do not know if the Carabinieri also police cities, but there are many Carabinieri barracks in the city of Rome.)
Michele Abiuso and the Carabinieri
Orlando Abiuso's father became the town hall police officer in Gambatesa after he stopped serving in the Carabinieri.
When young men were called up for compulsory national (i.e. military) service, they had the choice of serving one year with the army or two years with the Carabinieri. (They got a special wage for the Carabinieri because even in peacetime the work was dangerous.)
After your two years with the Carabinieri you could choose to stay in the Carabinieri if you wanted to. But there were restrictions placed on the Carabinieri, for example they could not marry until they were 27 or 28 years old. In order to be accepted into the Carabinieri, the government did a criminal background check on you and your family back to your grandparents. (To be allowed to serve in the army near the Alpine border also required this check.)
Twenty years ago Italian national service was for 18 months, then it was for 12 months, but in 2005 Italy is to have an only professional army.
The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/molise/carabin.html
Last revised: 15 January 2006 : 2006-01-15 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo