"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 cruiser HMS Hawke in 1911." from Wikipedia.
Oldest child. 4 brothers & 1 sister who survived to adulthood. Other brothers (including Ray) and a sister (Molly) who died in childhood.
Violet & brother Ray both had scarlet fever (he died from it)
she had tuberculosis and typhoid fever as a child
Father died when she was in her early teens, around or before when she was 16. They were living in Mendoza, Argentina
Moved to England with her mother.
Brothers were put in a catholic orphanage, which allowed her mother to get work as a stewardess in The Royal Mail Line (long-distance passenger service across the Atlantic) - she did this for 5 years.
Had to take care of her little sister, Eileen (Aileen?) while her mother was away. Boarded in a convent where they could be educated.
Was a governess but continued to board at the convent. Wanted to study nursing but her mother's failing health made her decide to become a stewardess with The Royal Mail Line. Her first ship was on the Orinoko
Later worked for the White Star Line, The Majestic, The Adriatic and The Oceanic on routes to New York. Was chosen to serve on The Olympic as part of a "best of class" crew.
The Olympic launched 20 Oct 1910. Its maiden voyage took place the next June. It was considered the most luxurious ship on the Atlantic. In September it collided with the HMS Hawke. Violet was likely uninjured. After The Olympic was repaired, she was once again a member of the stewardess crew.
Was hand-selected as "best in class" for the 1912 maiden voyage of The Titanic. Escorted passengers to the boats. After being handed a baby she was put into Lifeboat 16. They saw The Titanic sink and were later rescued by The Carpathia.
1914 Joined the Red Cross as and became a junior nurse. Was later assigned to the White Star's Brittanic which had been requisitioned for military use as a hospital ship. In 21 Nov 1916 it sank after possibly striking a mine off of Greece. Violet gathered some of her belongings, using her apron as a pouch under her coat and lifebelt before getting on the lifeboat. She had to swim as her lifeboat was being drawn toward the still-turning propellers of the ship. Her coat drug her under water and she hit her head on something when trying to surface. Eventually she was rescued. Only 28 people were killed in this shipwreck. Her skull had been fractured when she hit her head but did not know until much later, when she got an X-ray for a toothache.
Served aboard The Olympic again.
Worked with the Red Star line on world cruises - 5 different annual cruises.
Served on The Royal Mail line's The Alcantera
Was a nurse, on land this time, during World War II.
Worked at clerical and factory jobs to earn money for retirement.
↑ Wilson, Tracey V. and Holly Frey. "The Unsinkable Violet Jessop." Stuff You Missed in History Class (Podcast). 2 Sept 2015. HowStuffWorks (Web). Accessed 6 Sept 2015.