Isaac Rosenberg was brought up in Stepney and attended Baker Street School until he was fourteen. Rosenberg spent two years at the Slade Art School and exhibited work at the Whitechapel Art Gallery before enlisting in October 1915. He left for France in the summer of 1916 with the King’s Own Royal Lancasters Regiment and was sent to the Somme.

Writing to Edward Marsh in 1915 he said

‘I never joined the army for patriotic reasons. Nothing can justify war … I thought if I join there would be the separation allowance for my mother.’

In June 1915 he had written to another friend that ‘Most people find my poems difficult’ but later on wrote to Marsh that he thought his poems were ‘as simple as ordinary talk.’

Isaac Rosenberg’s Poems

Break of Day in the Trenches

Resources for Isaac Rosenberg

Isaac Rosenberg Bookmark by Ian Brinton on the EA website

Isaac Rosenberg and Keith Douglas Bookmark by Louise Williams on the EA website