John Baptiste Ottino was born in Italy on the 10th June 1883. As a teenager, he came to England accompanied by his older brother, Peter, and settled in London.
In 1905, he married Helen Pizzey in Lambeth, London, and in 1915, they resided at 25. Lambeth Road, Liverpool.
He was a professional chef and as such, enlisted in the mercantile marine. In April 1915, he was engaged as a Larder Cook in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania. He reported for duty at 8 a.m. on 17th April 1915, the morning that the liner made her last ever departure from the River Mersey.
Three weeks later, on the afternoon of 7th May, on the vessel’s return journey to her home port, the
Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off the southern coast of Ireland by the German submarine
John Ottino survived the sinking and eventually returned to Liverpool where he received the balance of wages still owed to him in respect of his service on the
Lusitania. It covered the period from 17th April until 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the great ship had foundered.
John Ottino continued to serve as a chef in the mercantile marine for many years.
He died in Bromley, Kent, on the 6th June 1966, just four days before he would have celebrated his 83rd birthday.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, UniLiv D92/2/253, UniLiv D92/2/335, PRO BT 349.