WWII veteran seeks man who saved legs

Oldest bell-ringer in the world was stationed in Italy

(ANSA) - London, May 17 - At age 98, Dennis Brock's dream is to find the Italian lieutenant who saved his legs. This is why the British army veteran, who is also considered the oldest bell-ringer in the world, launched an appeal in the Daily Telegraph to find the officer - if he is still alive, or at least his family members if he isn't - to thank them. Brock, a resident of Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey, was imprisoned by the Germans in North Africa in June 1942 and ended up in a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy, where he suffered from malnutrition. At one point in 1943, he was at risk of losing his legs when he met an Italian lieutenant who used a groundbreaking treatment to save his legs, injecting a serum into his lymphatic gland. Brock told the Daily Telegraph that "he did an experiment, with my agreement. He said 'you'll never walk again if it fails', but it didn't fail. I climb up bell-tower stairs and I can still drive a car." He only remembers the officer's name, Antonino Alessi, his age (25) and that he was deployed in the Ferrara area. Brock tried unsuccessfully to contact the hospital where he was hospitalized after the war and then asked the British press to help spread his request and convey it across Italy as well.