Sunday, March 22, 2020

Good Luck, Bad Luck: Meet Violet Jessop

Violet was onboard the Royal Mail Ship Olympic in 1911 when it turned in front of the British cruiser Hawke which was equipped with a ramming bow to sink ships by.....ramming, if all else failed:
pic via Wikipedia

The Olympic made it back to port at Southampton. The Hawke almost capsized but also survived.

A year later Violet was in the North Atlantic onboard the Titanic.

And four years after that she was on the third of the big boats, His Majesty's Hospital Ship Britannic when it struck a mine in the Aegean and sank.

Here's the story from Today I Found Out:

The Woman Who Survived All Three Disasters Aboard the Sister Ships: the Titanic, Britannic, and Olympic
Today I found out about Violet Jessop, “Miss Unsinkable,” the woman who survived the sinking of the sister ships the Titanic and the Britannic, and was also aboard the third of the trio of Olympic class vessels, the Olympic, when it had a major accident.

Violet Jessop enjoyed incredible “luck” from a young age. Born in 1887 in Argentina to Irish immigrants, she contracted tuberculosis as a young child and was given just a few months to live. Somehow, she managed to fight the disease and went on to live a long, healthy life.
When her father passed away, her mother moved the family to Britain, where she took a job as a stewardess on a ship. While her mother was working, Violet attended a convent school. Unfortunately, her mother became ill, and to provide for her siblings Violet decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a ship stewardess herself.

The first in a long line of struggles for Violet was finding a ship that would take her. She was just 21 years old at the time and most women working as stewardesses in the early 1900s were middle-aged. Employers believed that her youth and good looks would be a disadvantage to her, “causing problems” with the crew and passengers. (Over the course of her career, she did get at least three marriage proposals while working on various ships, one from an incredibly wealthy first-class passenger.)....

Next week, the sailor who survived the Titanic, Britannic and three other ships that sank.