Titanic Photographs

Wrapping up on the steerage deck Credit: Father Frank Browne

One of the luckiest passengers on Titanic was a priest and amateur photographer called Father Frank Browne. He was given a ticket for Titanic by his uncle, the Bishop of Southern Ireland, but it only covered the first stage of the voyage from Southampton to Cork via Cherbourg. Just a few days after he disembarked the ship went to its watery grave. In the short time Father Browne was on board - just a day or so - he snapped away, capturing rare and intimate portraits of passengers and crew. Being a man of the cloth he was as happy mixing with steerage passengers as he was with those in First Class, and had access to all areas of the ship. This meant among other things he took the only known photographs of Titanic's wireless room.

Many of Father Browne's photos are kept by his great-nephew John Martin who lives in Hawkhurst in Kent and showed us that original Kodak camera, a rare and expensive article back then.

As John points out the priest knew how to use it, and also had an eye for detail and for people.

He was as shocked as anyone to hear about the disaster, and with every reason. A rich American offered to pay for him to travel all the way to New York. But he came down with a cold and was ordered to leave the ship.

John Martin interviewed at home in Hawkhurst Credit: ITV Meridian