Brendan Bracken was a native of County Tipperary, Ireland. He became the right hand man of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill from the mid 1920’s onwards. He strongly supported Churchill during World War II. He served as Minister of Information from 1941 to 1945.
Brendan Rendall Bracken was born in Templemore Co Tipperary in 1901. His father, J K Bracken was a stonemason. He was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and one of the seven founding members of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Bracken’s father died when he was three and his mother Hannah moved the family to Dublin. Brendan attended St Patrick’s National School in Drumcondra. In 1910 at the age of 9 he was transferred to O’Connell School, Richmond Street near Dublin City centre.
In 1915, because of his misbehaviour, Bracken’s mother sent him as a boarder to the Jesuit school, Mungret College which is 3 miles west of Limerick City. Bracken ran away from Mungret and his mother sent him to live with a cousin who was a priest in Echuca, Victoria, Australia. He returned to Ireland in 1919 having spent the previous three years travelling and educating himself.
After a short period attending Sedbergh Public school Bracken got a job as a journalist in London. He joined the Conservative Party and assisted Churchill in the election of 1923. He became a newspaper editor, successful publisher and founder of the Financial Times. He was elected an MP in 1929. A loyal supporter of Churchill, Bracken supported his calls for rearmament to counter the rising threat of Nazism.
During World War II, in 1941, Churchill appointed Bracken to the post of Minister of Information and a member of the Privy Council despite the objections of King George VI. Following the War he was appointed Lord of the Admiralty until he lost his seat in Parliament in 1945. He returned to his publishing business but was re-elected in 1951 and was offered a cabinet post by Churchill. Because of failing health he declined the offer. He resigned from politics, but was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Bracken. He died at the age of 58 on 8th of August 1957.
Brendan Bracken, right hand man of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill from the mid 1920’s onwards, was born in Templemore, County Tipperary in the year 1901 On This Day.
London, Bracken House Clock
Photo by Martin Pettitt