A Soldier’s Story: The photographer

Father Francis Browne SJ (1880-1960) – A Jesuit Priest, Father Francis Browne was a Photographer who took over 42,000 photographs including the last pictures of The Titanic and Photos of the front line during WW1.

Francis Browne was born in Cork in 1880. Aged 17, he set out on a Grand Tour of Europe. Armed with a Kodak camera, he started what was to become a l
ifelong passion for photography.

On the 3rd April 1912 his Uncle Robert sent him a letter containing a first class ticket for the first two legs of the maiden voyage of the Titanic. When news broke that Titanic had sunk his photographs were published on the front pages of newspapers across the world.

Francis Browne was ordained to the priesthood on the 31st July 1915. He joined the First Battalion of the Irish Guards and served in the front line at the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele during World War 1.

He returned to Belvedere College, Dublin to teach in 1920. Father Browne was appointed Superior of St Francis Xavier’s Church on Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1922. In 1924 he traveled to Australia where he remained for 2 years.

From the end of 1925 Father Browne was back in Gardiner Street and he began his extensive collection of photographs of Dublin and Ireland. By the time he shot his final roll of film in 1957 he had accumulated 42,000 negatives.

Father Francis Browne died on 7th July 1960 and he was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Pic: Father Francis Browne & one of his photo's from the battlefield.

Picture and story from Glasnevin Museum in their Facebook post