To Journey's End and Beyond - the RC Sherriff Project Blog

Sherriff (on far left) with two other unidentified Artists Rifles cadets, c.1916 (SHC Ref. 2332/Box12)

Echoes of Journey’s End Part III…R C Sherriff’s lost school friends

Sherriff lost several friends during the First World War who, like him, had enlisted shortly after leaving school. In a letter to his father Sherriff comments on the recent deaths of his friends Kenneth Restall and Richard (“Dick”) Webb, both of whom had attended Kingston Grammar School with him. Transcript of letter Kenneth Restall was […]

Letter from Sherriff to his mother, 2 August 1917 (SHC Ref. 2332/Box44/part1)

Passchendaele…R C Sherriff’s Final Days on the Western Front

On 2 August 1917 Sherriff sustained wounds to the right side of his face, right arm, hand and leg while participating in the opening phase of the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres) at Klein Zillebeke. He was hit by fragments of concrete when a shell smashed into a nearby pill box (a type of guard post). […]

Sherriff (second from left on back row) with other East Surrey Regiment officers, c.1917 (SHC Ref. 2332/Box12)

Band of Gallant Brothers…R C Sherriff and his Fellow Officers

Several of my previous posts on this blog have concentrated on the large amount of letters Sherriff wrote to his family about his responses to and experiences of trench life. In this post I’d like to consider what his fellow officers’ impression of Sherriff might have been. Only a very few letters survive from Sherriff […]

Sherriff in his East Surrey Regiment uniform, c.1918 (SHC Ref. 2332/Box12)

Echoes of Journey’s End Part II…R C Sherriff and Hibbert

Trench life placed a great physical and mental burden on soldiers on the Western Front, and surviving letters written by Sherriff highlight how he suffered from repeated bouts of neuralgia while on active service. Neuralgia is a term for pain in the distribution of a nerve or nerves, and Sherriff experienced attacks of the condition […]

Sherriff as a toddler, c.1898

Happy 118th Birthday R C Sherriff!

Robert Cedric Sherriff was born on 6 June 1896 at Rossendale, his parent’s house in Hampton Wick, Middlesex (now part of Greater London). Sherriff was the second of three children born to insurance clerk Herbert “Pips” Hankin Sherriff (1857-1940) and his wife Constance, née Winder (1871-1965). Census records indicate that his mother’s first name was […]

Drawing of R C Sherriff's servant Morris in volume one of Sherriff's war memoir (SHC Ref. 2332 Add)

Echoes of Journey’s End…R C Sherriff’s servant Morris

Sherriff’s papers here at Surrey History Centre indicate that he forged close bonds with some of his fellow soldiers during his time on the Western Front. Humour appears to have been a key component in these relationships, which helped Sherriff to cope with the stresses of trench life. One such relationship was with Morris, his […]

Scarlet pimpernel inserted in volume one of R C Sherriff’s war memoir (SHC Ref. 2232 Add)

From Hampton Wick to the turmoil of the Western Front…via Romford

Welcome to the first blog for the R C Sherriff Project! I’ve recently joined the Surrey History Centre team as R C Sherriff Project Archivist, and have now begun to catalogue Sherriff’s papers. My first port of call is his First World War letters to his parents, Constance and Herbert Hankin Sherriff, whom Sherriff called […]