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 Violet Constance Jessop - 2 October 1887 – 5 May 1971

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Join date : 2013-08-30

PostSubject: Violet Constance Jessop - 2 October 1887 – 5 May 1971   Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:06 pm

Violet Jessop was an ocean liner stewardess and nurse who achieved fame by surviving the disastrous sinkings of both the RMS Titanic and the HMHS Britannic in 1912 and 1916 respectively. In addition, she had been on board the RMS Olympic, their sister ship, when it collided with the protected cruiser HMS Hawke in 1911.

At age 23, Violet Jessop boarded the RMS Olympic on 14 June 1911 to work as a stewardess. The Olympic was a luxury ship that was the largest civilian liner at that time, being nearly 100 ft (30 m) longer than any other ship. Olympic′s first major mishap occurred on 20 September 1911, when she collided with the old protected cruiser HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight. Although the incident resulted in the flooding of two of her compartments and a twisted propeller shaft, Olympic was able to limp back to Southampton. At the subsequent inquiry the Royal Navy blamed Olympic for the incident, alleging that her large displacement generated a suction that pulled Hawke into her side.

Violet boarded the RMS Titanic as a stewardess on 10 April 1912. Four days later, on 14 April, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and, over the next two hours, broke in two and sank. Violet described in her memoirs that she was ordered up on deck, because she was to function as an example of how to behave for the non-English speakers who could not follow the instructions given to them. She watched as the crew loaded the lifeboats. She was later ordered into lifeboat 16, and, as the boat was being lowered, one of the Titanic′s officers gave her a baby to look after. The next morning, Violet and the rest of the survivors were rescued by the RMS Carpathia. According to Violet, while on board the Carpathia, a woman grabbed the baby she was holding and ran off with it without saying a word.

During the First World War, Violet served as a stewardess for the British Red Cross. On the morning of 21 November 1916, she was on board His Majesty's Hospital Ship Britannic when the ship apparently struck a mine and, with all the portholes open for ventilation, quickly sank in the Aegean Sea off the Greek island of Kea, with the loss of 30 lives. There is also a second theory for the cause of the sinking, claiming that a German U-Boat shot the Britannic without warning, regardless of its status as a medical ship. While the Britannic was sinking, Violet jumped out of a lifeboat to avoid being sucked into the Britannic′s propellers. She was sucked under the water anyway, and struck her head on the ship's keel before surfacing and being rescued by a lifeboat.[1] She later stated that cushioning, due to her thick auburn hair, helped save her life. She had also made sure to grab her toothbrush before leaving her cabin on the Britannic, saying later that it was the one thing she missed most immediately following the sinking of the Titanic.
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Violet Constance Jessop - 2 October 1887 – 5 May 1971
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