Mr Victor Gaitan Andrea Giglio1 was born in Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England on 17th June 1888 the son of Italian cotton merchant Frederici Josephi (Frederick Joseph) Giglio and his Egyptian wife Despina Sepse.2 He was baptised at the church of Maria de Monte Carmeli (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) in Liverpool on 21st July 1888.
By the time of the 1891 census Giglio's mother was widowed; she and his three Egypt-born brothers Richard, Harold and Edgar were living at 22 Linnet Lane, Aigburth, Toxteth Park, Liverpool; a street which still contains a number of substantial Victorian redbrick villas.
In 1901 Victor was a boarding pupil at Ampleforth Abbey a Roman Catholic boy's school in North Yorkshire, where he excelled at piano.3
On 25th May 1910 he was listed as a passenger arriving in New York aboard the White Star Liner Teutonic. He had no occupation and had paid his own passage. A physical description attached to the record describes him as follows:
Height: 5ft 9in
Little is known of Victor's life nor how he came to become employed by one of America's richest men but he and his employer are listed as arriving at Fishguard aboard the Lusitania on 16th January 1912. Giglio was valet (probably more of a secretary or personal assistant than a servant) to Mr Benjamin Guggenheim. They embarked the Titanic at Cherbourg (ticket number 17593). Mr Guggenheim and Mr Giglio occupied cabin B-84. Mr Guggenheim's French chauffeur Mr Rene Pernot travelled second class. Also aboard was Guggenheim's mistress Leontine Aubart.
Shortly before the Titanic went down Giglio returned to his room and changed into his finest evening wear, his master, Mr Guggenheim did likewise.
Mr Giglio, Mr Pernot and Mr Guggenheim were all lost in the sinking.
After the disaster, Giglio's old school recorded his death in the school magazine:
Just as we go to press the newspapers announce the disaster to the Titanic with its appalling loss of life. It was particularly sad for us to see the name of Mr. Victor Giglio, who left the School at the end of 1906, among the names of the first-class passengers who were lost. At the time of the writing of this note no details are to hand, but those who knew Giglio at School will not require any assurance that he met death bravely and even willingly rather than, perhaps, take the place of some one else in the lifeboats. “I did not expect to see his name in the list of survivors,” one of his old class has written to the Head Master, “Giglio was unlikely to be saved when any were lost.” To his mother and brothers we offer our sincerest sympathy, and beg the prayers of our readers for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace!
Ampleforth Journal 17 (1912) 403
We have to thank Madame Giglio for an excellent collection of music and books, which she has presented to the school as a remembrance of Victor Giglio. Nothing of Victor Giglio’s could be more valued by us, for he was certainly one of the best pianists the school has had in the last few years. We take this occasion once again of recommending Victor Giglio to the prayers of his old schoolfellows. They will hardly need to be reminded that he was one of the victims in the Titanic disaster.
Ampleforth Journal 18 (1913) 339