Encyclopedia Titanica

Antonio Persić

RMS Carpathia Waiter

Mr Antonio Persić was born in Kršan, Istria, Austria-Hungary (modern-day Croatia, also part of Italy at one point) on 5 May 1894. He was the son of Dominicus Persić and Maria Glavina. 

Persić went to sea as a young man; he was serving as a waiter aboard the Carpathia in April 1912 when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic disaster.

Persić cut his seagoing career short in May 1913 when he stepped off the Carpathia for the final time. He headed to Shamokin, Pennsylvania where he garnered work in the mines there, encouraging other crew members to follow him suit, including Giuseppe Zupičić. He was not there long when, in October 1913, he was seriously injured in a mining car accident, necessitating the amputation of his right leg. 

…Persick was driving one of the cars used to convey coal from the mine to the colliery. Part of his duties was to unloose the mule drawing the car and to jump from the car in an operation known as a flying shift. Owing to a defective condition of the bumper of the car he was riding, Persick's foot caught as he was about to jump, and he was caught between his car and a car ahead, to which the first car was to be attached. His right leg was crushed at the knee, necessitating amputation… — The Yonkers Statesman, 28 November 1916

His friends and colleagues rallied around him and appealed to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission to provide him a pension on account of the fact he “was a hero of the Titanic disaster.” He was later awarded $20,000 compensation after he filed a suit against his then-employers Reading Coal and Iron Company. A few years later, his Carpathia colleague Giuseppe Zupičić was also injured in a mining accident, requiring the amputation of his left arm.

Moving to Manhattan, New York and becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1935, in his new home Antonio became Anthony Persick and was employed as a wool worker, before finding employment in the manufacture of artificial limbs. In August 1924 he married Katharina “Katie” Kazimirowicz (1896-1966), a native of Poland; the couple had two daughters, Mary and Anna.

Anthony Persick (né Antonio Persić) died in Manhattan aged 78 on 19 December 1972 and was buried in St Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx. Survived by his two daughters, his wife had predeceased him.

References and Sources

Shamokin News-Dispatch, 2 November 1939, Looking Backward
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Gavin Bell, UK
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK

Carpathia Crew Summary

Name: Mr Antonio Persić
Age: 17 years 11 months and 10 days (Male)
Nationality: Croatian
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Waiter
Ship: Carpathia
Buried: St Raymond's Cemetery, Bronx, New York, United States

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