Donald Mennie arrived in China c.1899, and later became Managing Director of the pharmacy A.S. Watson and Co, in Shanghai.
During the 1920s, Mennie published his photographs in ‘China by Land and Water’, ‘The Pageant of Peking’, ‘Glimpses of China’, ‘China, North and South’, 'Picturesque China' and ‘The Grandeur of the Gorges’. Mennie’s photographs illustrated ‘My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard’ by Elizabeth Cooper (1914) and 'The Great River: The story of a voyage on the Yangtze Kiang' by Gretchen Fitkin (1922).
Mennie was interned in the Lunghua camp, Shanghai by the Japanese military in March 1943. He died while interned on 10 January 1944.