Friday, 18 March 2016

#plaque366 Isaac Rosenberg in Whitechapel

A London commemorative plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

DROP ME A LINE or leave a comment below if you'd like to nominate a plaque for inclusion in the series

Poet Isaac Rosenberg on the Whitechapel Gallery (formerly the Whitechapel Library)…

Hailed by many as the greatest of all the War Poets Isaac Rosenberg was born in 1890 to Lithuanian-Jewish immigrant parents and was raised and schooled in London’s East End. The building that has the honour of bearing his Blue Plaque was once the Whitechapel Library. Nicknamed the University of the Ghetto it was where Rosenberg and numberless others of the Jewish immigrant community studied and took shelter from the privations of immigrant home life. Of the Whitechapel Library, Rosenberg once wrote the lines:

How often I went for warmth and a doze
The newspaper room whilst the world outside froze,
And I took out my sardine sandwich feast
Whitechapel Library, Aldgate East
And the trams and the madman and the chattering crone
The smell of their farts could turn you to stone
But anywhere, anywhere, was better than home

Having been critical of the war in his poetry, Rosenberg enlisted in 1915. He served as a Private (he turned down the opportunity of a stripe – promotion to Lance Corporal) with both the 12th Suffolk Folk Regiment and the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He lost his life on the Western Front in April 1918.

Keep an eye out for this plaque with Harry on the Unknown East End walk every Sunday at 2.00p.m.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

No comments:

Post a Comment