Encyclopedia Titanica

Gaspare Antonio Pietro Gatti

Sig. Gaspare Antonino Pietro Gatti, better known as Luigi, was born in Montalto Pavese, Italy at 3 am on 3 January 1875.

He was one of eleven children born to Paolo Gatti and Maria Nascimbene. His father was a local councillor responsible for a municipal department and a Justice of the Peace.

Gatti left Italy for England when he was still very young, the only member of his immediate family to do so and became a successful restaurant entrepreneur, reportedly earning himself a fortune that he was able to send back home to his relatives. Exactly when he arrived in England is not clear, possibly as early as 1887, but he first appears on electoral registers in Harrow in 1891.

He was married in St Luke's Church, Hammersmith, London on 15 December 1902 to an English woman, Edith Kate Cheese (b. 1876), a Chelsea native and daughter of steward William James Cheese and his wife Emily. Gatti's address at the time was given as 93 Vespar (?) Road, Hammersmith and he was described as a waiter and business proprietor. Gatti's and Edith's son Luigi Victor was born on 25 October 1904 and the small family appeared on the 1911 census living at Flat 3, 101 Great Titchfield Street, Marylebone, staying with them was L. Zarrachi, who was probably the waiter of that name aboard the Titanic.

Gatti was chosen by the White Star Line to manage the à la carte restaurants aboard Olympic and Titanic. 

It is often assumed that the restaurants were an offshoot of the famous Gatti restaurant and theatre chain active in London and regionally (including a restaurant in Southampton).  However that family of Gatti's came from Switzerland and there appears to be no connection with the Luigi Gatti employed by the White Star Line.

It was reported that Gatti staffed the with employees from his own restaurants and up to eleven of his own cousins.  At the British Inquiry steward James Johnson described him as "A nice little man."

When Luigi Gatti signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, he gave his home address as "Montalto", on Harborough Road, Southampton.

Following the sinking there were reports that the largely continental staff of the restaurant, mainly French, Italian, Swiss, German and Belgian, had been herded to their quarters by stewards and kept there. Whatever the truth of those reports, only three from the staff survived, two of whom were the female cashiers.

Gatti died in the sinking.  Newspapers reported that his wife had a presentiment of danger at the very moment of the disaster.

Luigi Gatti and family
The Gatti family

Gatti's body was recovered by the Minia (#313) and buried in Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

NO. 313. - ESTIMATED AGE, 36.

EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain; sovereign case; Kruger sovereign; silver match box; $6 American notes; pair cuff links marked "L. G."; diamond ring; 2 collar buttons; knife marked "Imperial Restaurant"; key; rubber eraser; lead pencil; in case, 7 sovereigns, 2 half sovereigns, 5/6d in silver, copper coins; bunch of keys with the following tags: "Comptroller's Office restaurant 1st class entrance to "B" deck; the other "Restaurant Manager, entrance to Cafe Parisian"; laundry, marked on linen collar "H. R."; two pocket knives marked "H. R. ; one pair gloves.


Montalto, Harborough Rd., Southampton.


(Courtesy: Bill Fowler, Canada)

Most of the belongings were returned to Gatti's wife in London but a single dollar bill, from the wallet recovered with his body, was sent back to the relatives in Italy. His estate, worth £420, was administered to his widow on 15 June 1912.

Image  Image
(Courtesy: Renato Gatti, Italy)

His widow Edith never remarried and she remained living in Marylebone, London into the late 1930s before going to live with her son in Northallerton, Yorkshire where she died 1963.

Victor Gatti appears as an assistant waiter on the Olympic in 1919.  He was married in 1928 to Violet May Elis (born 1901) but the couple had no children; he served during WWII and later worked as a telephonist. The couple later settled in Bedale, Yorkshire but Violet died in 1959 and Victor was remarried two years later to Marjorie Armstrong (1920-2001). He died in Northallerton, Yorkshire in 1974.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Sig. Gaspare Antonio Pietro Gatti (Luigi)
Age: 37 years 3 months and 12 days (Male)
Nationality: Italian
Marital Status: Married to Edith Kate Cheese
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Minia (No. 313)
Buried: Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Friday 10th May 1912

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References and Sources

Titanic Commutator, Crew List, 1 February 1975

Research Articles

Brian J. Ticehurst Titanica! (2005) Ritz Restaurant Staff on the Titanic
ON BOARD the Titanic was what must have been the finest Restaurant in the world.

Newspaper Articles

Belfast Telegraph (18 April 1912) A Weird Story : The Titanic's Restaurant Manager
Corriere della Sera (18 April 1912) Still missing a complete list of the italian's shipwreked
Corriere Mercantile (18 April 1912) THE NAMES OF THE ITALIANS
Leeds Mercury (19 April 1912) A Wife's Presentiment
Corriere della Sera (19 April 1912) Italians shipwrecked
All'erta! (26 April 1912) Una vittima di Montalto nel naufragio del Titanic
Il Lavoro (25 May 1912) Le vittime italiane nel disastro del


Luigi Gatti and family

Documents and Certificates

Gaspare Gatti : Birth Certificate
Luigi Gatti (Death Certificate)
(1912) United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List, Titanic Inquiry Project


(1912) Wreck Commissioners' Court, Proceedings before the Right Hon. Lord Mersey on a Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the S.S. Titanic, Titanic Inquiry Project
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Comment and discuss

  1. Walker Cecily

    Walker Cecily said:

    Am so pleased to find the details of Luigi Gatti. As a young girl I visited my Grandmother at the home in Yorkshire that she shared with a lady companion. On the piano was the photograph of a gentleman in naval uniform with a small boy & the lady in question. She told me that it was the photo that her husband had with him when he went down with the Titanic. Whenever I repeated the story none of my family could recall her but I remembered her name as Gatti. Thinking that I must have dreamt the whole thing I did'nt follow the story up. I have only recently been able to access the internet,... Read full post

  2. Walker Cecily

    Walker Cecily said:

    Further to my last comment I would be very interested to contact any of Sgn Gatti's family to find out what happenend to his wife & son - also if they had any contact with my Grandmother.

  3. Alice Bennett

    Alice Bennett said:

    Hi Cecily, my name is Alice Bennett and I'm currently doing a study into Gatti and his role on board the Titanic along with study into his family tree in England and on a broader scale the Italian presence in Southampton and London. I would love to discuss with you what you already know of this man, any information you may have would be of great use in my research. Thanks, Alice

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