Violet Jessop

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Violet Constance Jessop (2 October 18875 May 1971) was an ocean liner stewardess. Working for the White Star Line, Violet Jessop was on board when the RMS Olympic collided with HMS Hawke; on board the RMS Titanic when it struck an iceberg and sank killing more than 1,500 people; and, during World War I, she was serving as a nurse on board HMHS Britannic when it was sunk by a naval mine, killing 30 people. The coincidence on being on all three Olympic-class vessels when each suffered a serious hull breach has made Violet Jessop's story a popular anecdote among Titanic enthusiasts.


[edit] Early life

Violet Jessop was born to William and Katherine Jessop, Irish emigrants living near Bahía Blanca, Argentina. Violet Jessop was the first of nine children, only six of whom survived. Violet herself contracted tuberculosis at an early age and despite doctor's predictions survived. After her father died, Violet and her family moved to Great Britain where she attended a convent school.

In 1908, after her mother became sick, Violet left school and became a stewardess for the Royal Mail Line. In 1910 she began working for the White Star Line and in 1911, while working on board the RMS Olympic she experienced her first incident on an Olympic-class vessel. Off the Isle of Wight, the British warship HMS Hawke collided with the Olympic seriously damaging both ships.

Violet boarded the RMS Titanic as a stewardess on April 10, 1912 and four days later on April 14, at 11:40 PM the Titanic struck an iceberg and began to sink. Violet described in her memoirs that she was ordered up on deck where 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 him or her without saying a word.

[edit] Later life

During World War I Violet served as a nurse for the British Red Cross. In 1916, she was on board HMHS Britannic when the ship struck a mine and sank in the Aegean Sea. While the Britannic was sinking she jumped out of a lifeboat being sucked into the Britannic's propellers. She was sucked under the water and struck her head on the ship's keel before being rescued by another lifeboat.[1] She later attributed her thick auburn hair in helping 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.

After the war Violet continued to work for the White Star Line, before joining the Red Star Line and then the Royal Mail Line again. In her late 30's Violet had a brief marriage and in 1950 she retired to Great Ashfield, Suffolk. She died of congestive heart failure in 1971.

[edit] Note

  1.  Brewster, Hugh and Laurie Coulter (1998). 882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic. Madison Press Book. ISBN 0-590-18730-9. 

[edit] External links

[edit] References

In other languages