The Titanic's passengers represented a cross-section of society and amongst her first-class passengers was American Francis Davis Millet. Millet was born in Mattapoisett in south-eastern Massachusetts in 1846. As a teenager he served in the American Civil War, first as a drummer boy and later as a surgical assistant. He returned to Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard before gaining employment as a journalist. He was later the editor of the Boston Courier before rising to head the Saturday Evening Gazette in Boston. He was a notable war correspondent for the New York Herald and later the Daily Mail in London.
During this time he developed an interest in the arts, which would lead him to travel widely, including to Europe during his life. He studied in Paris before returning to Boston, then returning to Europe. He finally settled in Broadway. Millet was part of a group of artists living and working in the small Worcestershire village. There, he was part of an artists colony living in the village. His interest in the arts extended to easel painting, murals, sculpture and writing.
Francis Millet was travelling in first-class aboard the Titanic from Southampton to New York. He was travelling with fellow passenger Archibald Butt. Both men died in the sinking. Millet's body was recovered from the sea after the sinking by the cable-ship Mackay Bennett, chartered by the White Star Line to recovery bodies of the victims.
His body was repatriated to Boston for cremation. Millet was survived by his wife Lilly and three children. In 1932 Millet's son Jack donated £120 to St Eadburgha's Church for the construction of lychgates in his father's memory.
The lychgates form the entrance to the lower cemetery on Snowshill Road just south of the village of Broadway, 200 yards south of the main churchyard and St Eadburgha's Church. The lychgates are of wooden construction, with a tiled, pitched roof.
The eaves of the roof have scrolled edges and open gables with a central wooden king post. The underside of the roof is open, with the rafters exposed. The four tie-beams of the lychgates carry the following carved inscription in Latin that translates as:
In tribute to Francis Millet a man of excellence in the Arts and Literature. He met his death with fortitude as the ship Titanic sank whilst still giving hope to those who feared for their lives. His dear friends sought the dedication of this memorial in fond memory of his treasured fellowship.
The sides of the lychgates stand on low Cotswold-stone brick bases, with a wooden sill supporting a central and two outer wooden posts. The sides between the posts are open, with a low rail spanning each side. There are a pair of picket gates at the front, with widely spaced wooden pickets.
The lychgates are set back slightly from the road, with tall hedges on either side. On the ground, the footprint of the gates is paved with flagstones, leading on to the grassed churchyard.
- British Broadcasting Corporation (2008) St. Eadburgha's, Broadway London: British Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2008/12/10/graves_titanic_feature.shtml
- Hind, Philip et al (2013) Francis Davis Millet Oxford: Encyclopedia Titanica, http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/francis-davis-millet.html
- New York Times, The (1912) Frank D. Millet's career New York: The New York Times, 16 April 1912
- New York Times, The (1912) Funeral Service for Millet New York: The New York Times, 2 May 1912
- New York Times, The (1912) Millet's Body Cremated New York: The New York Times, 3 May 1912
- Williams, Stephen (2007) Francis Davis Millet Broadway: Stephen Williams, http://stmichaelsbroadway.org/Francis%20Millet%20article%20for%20web.pdf