Sig. Vincenzo Pio Gilardino, 31, was born at Canelli (Asti), Italy on 27 January 1881, the son of Umberto Gilardino and Giovanna Muratore. Vincenzo had six brothers and three sisters.
Vincenzo's neice, Caterina ("Rina"), recalled that Vincenzo probably came to England in the late 1890s because in 1901 Vincenzo's brother (Caterina's father) Paulo Gustavo Gilardino was sent to England by their father to try and persuade Vincenzo to return to Italy. However, Gustavo was unsuccessful and decided that he himself, would stay in England, he settled in Manchester where he worked as a confectioner.
Vincenzo, working for Luigi Gatti, was no stranger to sea voyages. He signed on for each sailing, but this was usually on the same line and ship, apart from one journey to Australia, the ship travelled between Southampton and Buenos Aires, Argentina. His position on board was a smokeroom steward. Coincidentally, another of Vincenzo's brothers, Enrico, lived in Argentina.
Between sailings, Vincent (as he was known in England) had alternately a long leave and a short one. It was his practice to go to Italy for the long leave and to go to his brother in Manchester (later Knutsford) for the short leave.
Around 1912 Vincenzo became interested in one of the sisters of Gustavo's wife Agnese, after his death a photograph of Florence was found on his dressing table.
It was to his brother Gustavo that Vincenzo wrote his last letter on 6 April 1912:
15, Bellevue Road
6 - 4 - 1912
I hope you had received my postcard from Belfast. I am sorry I couldn't have written to you before. I was always waiting for a letter from you to give you good news. On the 10th I'll leave on the Titanic, the biggest ship in the world, I'll have my moustache cut, but, never mind! I'm tired of doing nothing. As soon as I return, I'll be able to tell you if the place is good or not but I am hopeful. As soon as you receive this are, write to me soon, so that I'll get news from you before leaving.
Many greetings and kisses to you, Agnese and Rina.
When Vincenzo Gilardino signed-on to the Titanic he gave his address as 15 Bellevue Road, Southampton and his previous ship as the Asturias. He came aboard the Titanic on 10 April 1912.
He died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Gustavo went to Southampton after the sinking to gather Vincenzo's belongings, as he was walking down a street in Southampton a man stopped him in the street saying "I am sure you are Vincent Gilardino's brother because you are so like him. A while ago Vincent lent me £60 because my wife was very ill. " The next day, this man came to Gustavo and gave him the £60. There had been no written account of the loan.
References and Sources
Caterina Gilardino, England (Letter)
Report United State Senate n° 806, Crew List, 1912.
Luigi Pietro-Canelli Gilardino, Italy
Caterina Gilardino, England
Claudio Mazza, Italy
Gianluca Parodi, Italy
Hermann Söldner, Germany
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