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Ever hear of the Irish Jesuit priest who volunteered for WW1 and took these amazing pictures?

Fr Frank Browne’s work as a photographer is being remembered.

Irish
Irish
Image: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library.

FR FRANK BROWNE is one of Ireland’s most famous early photographers, well known for the photographs he took while on the first leg of the Titanic’s journey from Southampton to Cobh.

But Browne’s work went beyond that of the doomed liner and an RTÉ Nationwide special this evening will showcase his portraits of Irish soldiers in the trenches of World War I.

‘Fr Browne’s Forgotten War’ features his work as a chaplain on the frontline in France and Flanders during some of the bloodiest battles of the war.

He had volunteered for service as chaplain to the Irish Guards in 1916 and served on the Western Front, rising to the rank of Major.

He was wounded five times and awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre, for his bravery.

Producer of the film Roisín Duffy explains that his work seeks to document the life of Irishmen in the trenches at a time when Ireland was going through turbulent social change at the time of the Easter Rising:

What is extraordinary about Fr Browne is that he is remembered for the photographs he took on the Titanic and forgotten when it comes to the role he played keeping young Irish recruits sane as they experienced the absolute horrors of war on the frontline.

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Ever hear of the Irish Jesuit priest who volunteered for WW1 and took these amazing pictures?
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  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library
  • Fr. Browne in the trenches of WWI

    Source: Fr Browne Collection, Irish Picture Library

The Nationwide Special will be broadcast on RTÉ One this evening at 7pm. 

Column: ‘Hell is Coming’ – fragments of horror from World War One >

Read: Today marks 100 years since the beginning of the First World War >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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