Father Browne’s Titanic Album

HTBS’s Greg Denieffe writes from England that Father Browne’s Titanic Album, the centenary edition, was launched in Cobh Heritage Centre on 23 November. There is an article about the launch in The Cobh Edition here. Greg continues:

Cobh is pronounced ‘cove’ and was known as Queenstown at the time. Cobh was the final departure point of the Titanic on 11 April 1912. The ship was built in Belfast and as the locals say “it was fine when it left here”.

The following about the Titanic is from Wikipedia:

“The vessel began her maiden voyage from Southampton, bound for New York City on 10 April 1912, with Captain Edward J. Smith in command. As Titanic left her berth, her wake caused the liner SS New York, which was docked nearby, to break away from her moorings, whereupon she was drawn dangerously close (about four feet) to Titanic before a tugboat towed New York away. The incident delayed departure for about half an hour. After crossing the English Channel, Titanic stopped at Cherbourg, France, to board additional passengers and stopped again the next day at Queenstown (known today as Cobh), Ireland. As harbour facilities at Queenstown were inadequate for a ship of her size, Titanic had to anchor off-shore, with small boats, known as tenders, ferrying the embarking and disembarking passengers to and from the ship. When she finally set out for New York, there were 2,240 people aboard.

“John Coffey, a 23-year-old stoker, jumped ship at Queenstown by stowing away on a tender and hiding amongst mailbags destined for shore. A native of the town, he had probably joined the ship with this intention, but afterwards he said that the reason he had smuggled himself off the liner was that he held a foreboding about the voyage. He later signed on to join the crew of Mauretania”.

And now for the interesting bit, RTE, Ireland’s radio and television network, have 12 photographs on view at this link. All the photographs are stunning but HTBS readers may find number six of interest. It is captioned “First class passengers, such as TW McCawley, could enjoy the use of the ship’s gym”. Photograph above shows Father Frank Browne who took the photographs and who was ordered by his superior to disembark at Cobh. RTE’s Six One programme on 23 November 2011 had a report about Father Browne and his extraordinary photographs. The report is at 38:10 and is available for a couple of more days, here.

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