Isaac Rosenberg, c.1917
Born in 1890 of a poor Jewish family, Rosenberg grew up in the East End of
London. He left school at 14 and became apprentice to a firm of engravers in
Fleet Street. After a brief convalescence in Cape Town in 1914 he enlisted with
the Suffolk Regiment in October 1915, later transferring to the King's Own Royal
Lancaster Regiment. He served on the Western Front from 1916 onwards but never
rose above the rank of Private. He died on 1 April, 1918, whilst on night
- 1890 - November 25 - I.R. born at 5 Adelaide Place, Bristol, the eldest son
and second child of Barnett and Anna Rosenberg. Their first, a daughter Minnie,
had been born in Lithuania on March 23rd, 1887.
- 1892 -October 25 - Sister Annie born in Bristol.
- 1894 - October 9 - Sister Rachel born in Bristol.
- 1897 - February 10 - Brother David born in Bristol.
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- 1897 - Family move to 47 Cable Street, Stepney, London E1. R enrols at St.
Paul's School, Wellclose Square, St George's-in-the-East.
- 1899 - Brother Elkon born.
- 1899 - November 14 - R enrols at Baker Street School, Stepney E.
- 1900? - Family move to 58 Jubilee Street, Stepney, becoming neighbours of
the Amschewitz family; J. H. Amschewitz is 8 years Isaac's senior, and at an
early point in their friendship introduces him to Winifreda Seaton.
- 1902-3 - R begins special afternoon classes at the Stepney Green Art
School, at the instigation of Mr. Usherwood, headmaster of Baker St. School.
- 1904 - Family move to another flat in Jubilee St.
- 1904 - December 23 - R leaves Baker Street School.
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- -1905 - Early January - Joins Carl Hentschel's, Engravers, of Fleet Street,
EC4, as apprentice.
- -1907 - Family move to 159 Oxford Street, London E.
- -1907 - R starts evening classes at London School of Photo-Engraving and
Lithography, 6 Bolt court, Fleet Street, Attends till 1910.
- -1907 - Attends evening classes at Birkbeck College, Chancery Lane, EC4,
where instructed and befriended by Alice Wright. Attends till 1909, during
which time he wins the Mason prize in 1908 for nude studies, and in 1909 the
Pocock prize for a nude in oils.
- -1909? - Apprenticed to a Mr. Lascelles, process engraver, of Shoe Lane,
- -1911 - Early March Leaves Carl Hentshcel's.
- -1911 - July Takes boat trip to St. Helena.
- -1911 - October 3 Applies for entry to Slade School of Art, sponsored by
Mrs. Delissa Joseph, Mrs Herbert Cohen and Mrs Henrietta Lowy.
- -1911 - October 13 Fee of £21 for the 1911-12 session at the Slade
paid by them, and Isaac joins.
- -1912 - May 24 - R's review of the J. H. Amschewitz/Henry Ospovat
Exhibition at the Baillie Galleries, Bruton St., is printed in The Jewish
- -1912 - May/June - Moves to a studio at 40 Ampthill Square, Hampstead Road.
- -1912 - Spring - Writes to and meets Laurence Binyon, Keeper of Prints and
Drawings at British Museum.
- -1912 - Spring/Summer - Night and Day, a 24-page pamphlet of poems is
printed by Israel Narodiczky, who charges £2 for 50 copies.
- -1912 - September - Moves to 32 Carlingford Road, Hampstead.
- -1912 - Sept/October - R begins to fall out with Mrs. Cohen, who reduces
his living allowance. Sees Ernest Lesser of the Jewish Educational Aid Society,
requesting funds for continuing studies at The Slade. Returns home to 159
- -1912 - October - Painting 'Joy' wins First Class Certificate at Slade. New
English Art Club exhibits and sells his 'Sanguine Drawing'. Another painting
exhibited but unsold.
- -1912 - Winter - Rosenberg family move to 87 Dempsey Street, Stepney E.
- -1912 - December - Approval from J.E.A.S. to fund R till end March 1914.
- -1913 - Early - Rents room at 1 St. George's Square, Chalk Farm, N. London.
Submits group of paintings for Prix de Rome competition. Fails to win it, but
pictures exhibited at Imperial Institute Galleries, South Kensington.
- -1913 - March - Leaves Slade. Seeks treatment (paid for by J.E.A.S.) for
- -1913 - Spring - Health deteriorating. Moves back to Dempsey Street for
- -1913 - Summer - Spends holiday at Sandown, Isle of Wight, with David
Bomberg. Returns to St. George's Square.
- -1913 - Nov 10 - Introduces by Gertler to Edward Marsh and T.E. Hulme at
- -1914 - Jan/Feb - Coughing and lungs worsen. Takes holiday (paid for by
J.E.A.S.) in Bournemouth, Feb 20 to March 1.
- -1914 - March - Returns to Dempsey Street, relinquishing St. George's
Square studio. Requests funds ('£12 or £15') of J.E.A.S. for passage
to South Africa for health reasons. Granted.
- -1914 - May - Exhibits at Whitechapel Art Gallery's Exhibition of Twentieth
- -1914 - Early June - Sails by Union Castle line from Tilbury for South
- -1914 - End June - Reaches Cape Town, stays with sister Minnie at Hill
House, 43 De Villiers St.
- -1914 - July - Commissioned by Sir Herbert Stanley to paint two babies, Fee
£15. Lectures at studio of Madge Cook, daughter of Mrs. Agnes Cook, editor
of South African Women in Council, who later publishes the lecture in two
parts, with his poems 'Beauty' and 'Our Dead Heroes'.
- -1914 - August 4 - England declares war against Germany. Returns to
- -1915 - February - Set sail for England. Reputedly loses most of his
paintings overboard in Cape Town harbour.
- -1915 - March - Returns to 87 Dempsey Street.
- -1915 - April - 'Youth' printed at Narodiczky's, from type set (?) by
Reuben Cohen. 100 copies for £2.10s. Paid for by selling 3 pictures to
- -1915 - May - Meets Sydney Schiff at Caf Royal.
- -1915 - June - Colour magazine, edited by T.M. Wood, prints 'Heart's First
- -1915 - July 1 - First and only edition of The Jewish Standard, a
collaboration between Reuben Cohen and R, is issued.
- -1915 - July - Colour Magazine prints 'A Girl's Thoughts'.
- -1915 - August - Colour prints 'Wedded' (I). R apparently applies to
Hentschel's, requesting work. Unsuccessful.
- -1915 - Sept/Oct - Starts evening classes in block-making, in the hope of
getting a job. No luck.
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Rosenberg with his brother
Elkon, 1917 (26k)
- -1915 - End Oct - Enlists. Sent direct to Recruiting Depot at Bury St.
Edmunds, Suffolk, to join Bantam Battalion of 12th Suffolk Regiment, 40th
- -1915 - Late Nov - Lascelles Abercrombie, shown R's poetry by Marsh, writes
- -1915 - Christmas - 4 days leave at home.
- -1916 - Jan 16 - Transferred to 12th South Lancashire, at Blackdown Camp,
Farnborough, Nr. Aldershot, Hants.
- -1916 - March - Again transferred, this time to 11th Battalion, King's Own
Royal Lancasters Regiment, remaining at Blackdown Camp.
- -1916 - May 19 - 6 days' pre-embarkation leave, during which Reuben Cohen,
of Narodiczky's (using name 'Paragon Printing Works'), prints Moses.
- -1916 - May 25 - R back in barracks.
- -1916 - ?June 2 - Leaves for France (probably from Folkestone).
- -1916 - ?June 3 - Arrives?. Le Havre en route for Somme trenches.
- -1916 - June 23 - R. C. Trevelyan writes.
- -1916 - July 4 - Gordon Bottomley writes.
- -1916 - July - Arrives at front but remains behind the lines at 40th
Division Salvage Office.
- -1916 - End August - Sent into trenches.
- -1916 - September - Sends 'Break of Day in the Trenches' to Harriet Monroe
of Poetry (Chicago).
- -1916 - Nov 25th - 27th birthday.
- -1916 - December - Harriet Monroe prints 'Marching' (sent by Rodker in Jan
1916) and 'Break of Day in the trenches' in Poetry (Chicago).
- -1917 - January - R reports sick and is relieved of trench duty.
- -1917 - February - Re-assigned to 40th Division Works Battalion, behind the
- -1917 - Late Feb - Re-assigned to 229 Field Co., Royal Engineers, attached
to 11th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancasters.
- -1917 - Sept 16 - 10 days leave spent at home.
- -1917 - Sept 26 - Back in France.
- -1917 - Late Sept - Georgian Poetry 1916-17 published, containing R's 'Ah
Kolue' speech from Moses
- -1917 - October 10 - R reports sick with influenza. Is sent to 51st
- -1917 - Mid December - Leaves hospital and returns to trenches.
- -1918 - Late -Jan - Rest behind the lines.
- -1918 - February 7 - Transferred to 1st Battalion K.O.R.L., 40th Div.
- -1918 - March 21 - Recalled to trenches.
- -1918 - April 1 - Private I. Rosenberg, 22311 1st K.O.R.L., is killed at
dawn while on night patrol.
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