Isaac Rosenberg - Redcliffe’s War Poet


Isaac Rosenberg was a poet of the Great War who was considered to be one of the greatest of all war poets. He was born at 5 Adelaide Place, Bristol in 1890 to a working class Jewish Family living in the parish of Redcliffe.


His poems from the trenches are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War. While others wrote of war as patriotic sacrifice, Rosenberg was critical of the war from its onset.


Rosenberg was killed in the town of Fampoux, France at dawn on April 1, 1918; he was first buried in a mass grave, but in 1926, his remains were identified and reinterred, not in England, but at Bailleul Road East Cemetery, Plot V, St. Laurent-blangy, Pas de Calais, France.


In The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell’s landmark study of the literature of the First World War, Fussell identifies Rosenberg’s Break of Day in the Trenches as “the greatest poem of the war.”


Rosenberg was also an accomplished painter. Examples of his work can be seen here.

Break of Day in the Trenches

read by Tom O'Bedlam