Violet Constance Jessop's service record. She continued her service at sea until 21 December 1950. Catalogue reference: BT382/880
Her first liner was the Majestic, a ship she would sail on many times. She then served on the Adriatic and the Oceanic until 1911 when she joined RMS Olympic. Violet served aboard the Olympic until 1912 when, like many of the Olympic crew, she signed articles to serve aboard Titanic.
Violet was in bed when Titanic hit the iceberg, but as soon as she realised something was wrong she dressed and went on deck. Violet helped women and children into lifeboats until she herself was given a baby to look after and ordered into lifeboat 16. She was picked up the next morning by Carpathia.
Violet rejoined Olympic in June 1912 where she served until 1914 when she went ashore to train as a VAD nurse for the British Red Cross. She was then sent to serve on the hospital ship HMHS Britannic, sister to both Titanic and Olympic.
On the morning of 21 November 1916, Britannic struck a mine and started to sink. An attempt to get into shallow waters grounded the ship. The first lifeboats managed to get clear of the ship but the later ones, including Violet’s, found themselves unable to get clear of the still-running propellers which were now fully out of the water in the shallows. Violet was pulled so close to the ship that she hit her head on the keel and had to be pulled into a lifeboat. Over 1,000 people were saved, including Violet, but 30 people died in the incident.
Violet continued to serve aboard ships and just before Christmas 1950, a 63-year-old Violet signed off the Andes and retired from her remarkable life at sea. She died of heart failure in 1971 and her memoirs came to light in 1996.