TRUE. Violet Jessop was lucky throughout her life! Having survived tuberculosis as a child, she became a stewardess to help support her family after the death of her father, and served on all three Olympic Class ships. She was on board the Olympic during the collision with HMS Hawke; she then transferred to the Titanic, from which she escaped in lifeboat Number 16. She then served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse during the First World War on Titanic’s slightly younger sister, HMHS Britannic, which had been requisitioned as a hospital ship and was sunk in 1916 in the Aegean, off Cape Sounion.
Jessop escaped in one of the last lifeboats to leave the ship, only to be sucked into Britannic’s giant propellers, as her Captain was still trying to reach shallow water to beach the ship. Whilst under water, Jessop suffered repeated blows to her head, as she passed under one of Britannic’s propellers. By pure chance she survived and came to the surface surrounded by severed corpses and grotesquely injured men. Years later, Violet discovered that she had in fact suffered a fractured skull at the time, though she assumed for months afterwards that it was nothing more than bad headaches. Violet, who was a strikingly attractive young woman, concluded that it must have been her very thick hair which saved her!
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