Photos by UK's first female press photographer show London a century ago

By Culture24 Reporter | 31 March 2014

Photos by Christina Broom, Britain’s first press female press photographer, have been bought by the Museum of London, which will put them on public display with a focus on the capital at the outbreak of World War One

Click on the picture to launch the gallery

Broom was a self-taught photographer who wanted to make and sell postcards at a time when the trade was thriving.

She gained exclusive access to suffragette processions, King George V’s coronation and other leading events between 1903 and 1939, including a spell as photographer to the Household Brigade which saw her provide unique coverage of the Guards.

A snapshot of Rudyard Kipling’s son, Jack, was taken in 1915, shortly before his death in the Battle of Loos.

Anna Sparham, the museum’s Curator of Photographs, says the set of more than 2,500 photos builds on an “already significant” collection of suffragette images by Broom.

“It also brings to life her diverse photographic oeuvre, traversing subjects such as royal celebration and occasion, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races, women’s work and, predominantly, London’s military activities before, during and in the aftermath of war,” she observes.

“While Broom’s images exude strength and relevance on their own, for me, it is the photographer’s own fascinating story of determination and entrepreneurialism that makes them truly come alive.”

Christina Broom is at the Museum of London from April 4 – September 28 2014. War of Words, a new addition to the Museum of London Docklands' permanent galleries from April 4, also explores the impact of the First World War on London.

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More on the First World War Centenary programme:

Wives and Sweethearts: Love Letters sent During Wartime revealed by Army Museum

National Archives reveals conscription appeals of World War I Middlesex men

Royal De Luxe to return to Liverpool for First World War Centenary Cultural Programme

Pics: Christina Broom / Museum of London
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