Father Browne's Finest Pictures – just for interest!
In 1985 Father Edward O'Donnell SJ was searching in the basement at the Irish Jesuit Provincial's House when he came across a large black metal trunk, in which he found a large collection of negative albums, photographs and most amazingly of all an album containing photos of the Titanic’s voyage.
All these photographs were the work of Father Francis Browne SJ who died in 1960 and was almost forgotten by this time. Subsequent investigations revealed Fr Browne had enjoyed worldwide fame in 1912 when his photographs of the Titanic’s journey to Cobh were published worldwide. He had travelled first class to Cobh having been given a ticket by his uncle Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. His remarkable pictures proved to be unique. Read more about this remarkable photographer at the web links below.
It was just after the discovery of the cache of photos that a British television channel broadcast a programme on the sea crossing between Liverpool and Dublin. It featured many photos by Fr Browne and some viewers were both amazed and delighted to see FCJs in the ‘old habit’ on screen. Julie Bainbridge contacted Granada TV studios and they put her in touch with the ‘Fr Browne Archive’ as a result of which the Irish Jesuits sent Julie the photo.
The two sisters are on the deck of a boat which is clearly not the Titanic! If the FCJs were the only people in the picture all we could say is that the photo was taken somewhere between 1924 and 1966. The women’s hats tell us it is somewhere in the 1930s and ITV who gave the copy tell us it was 1936. We know the travellers were going from Dublin to Liverpool but we don’t know who they are – unless there is anyone still around who recognises them.
Anyone with an eye for composition would surely agree that the photograph is a gem.