Monday, 25 April 2016

Cyril W. Winterbotham (1887 - 1916) - British Poet

British WW1 Soldier Poet Cyril William Winterbotham featured in the Exhibition of
Poets, Writers and Artists on the Somme in 1916

Cyril William Winterbotham was born on 27th February 1887 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, one of seven children born to James Botten Winterbotham and his wife Eliza Hunter Winterbotham, nee McLaren.

Cyril was educated at Cheltenham College and Lincoln College, Oxford where he studied law.   

In WW1 he was commissioned into the 1st/5th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.    Posted to the Western Front in France, Cyril was killed on 27th August 1916 in an attack on German positions at Mouquet Farm, Ovillers-la-Boiselle, France.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, Picardie, France.

Cyril’s WW1 poetry collection ”Poems” was published in 1916 by Banks & Son, Cheltenham and some of his poems were included in the WW1 Anthology “The Muse in Arms”, edited by journalist and author Edward Bolland Osborn (1867–1938)
and published by John Murray, London, 1917. 

Poems by Cyril:


For tired eyes are all too dim, 
Our hearts too full of pain, 

Our ears too deaf to hear the hymn 
Which angels sing in vain, 
" The Christ is born again." 

O Jesus, pitiful, draw near, 

That even we may see 
The Little Child who knew not fear ; 

Thus would we picture Thee 

Unmarred by agony. 

O'er death and pain triumphant yet 
Bid Thou Thy harpers play, 

That we may hear them, and forget 
Sorrow and all dismay, 
And welcome Thee to stay 
With us on Christmas Day. 



Rest you content ; more honourable far 
Than all the Orders is the Cross of Wood, 
The symbol of self-sacrifice that stood 
Bearing the God whose brethren you are. 


From “The Muse in Arms”

Photograph from

Catherine W.Reilly "English Poetry of the First Wold War:  A Bibliography" (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1978)  p. 341