The Curtain Comes Down

Sherriff as a boy, c.1899 (SHC ref 3813/14/1/5/4)

Sherriff as a boy, c.1899 (SHC ref 3813/14/1/5/4)

Sherriff ’s memoir, No Leading Lady, was published in 1968, in which he focussed primarily on his literary career, from the unexpected success of Journey’s End to his later plays. Abandoned draft scripts among his papers show that he initially attempted to begin his autobiography with anecdotes concerning his childhood, but he then discarded this approach in favour of that which appears in the final published version.

Sherriff in his later years, c.1960s (SHC ref 2332/6/9/25/1)

Sherriff in his later years, c.1960s (SHC ref 2332/6/9/25/1)

There is no surviving evidence of any romantic entanglements in Sherriff ’s papers and he never married. He lived with his mother Constance at “Rosebriars” until she died in 1965 after which he lived alone at the house. He died in Kingston Hospital on 13 September 1975 and was survived by his younger brother Cecil “Bundy” Sherriff.

Sherriff bequeathed his papers to the Governors of Kingston Grammar School, while his future royalties were divided between the school and the Scouts Association. He also bequeathed his home to Elmbridge Borough Council as an arts venue. It was later sold and the capital raised established the R C Sherriff Trust (formerly the Rosebriars Trust), which supports the arts within Elmbridge Borough.

Download a pdf (PDF) copy of the original exhibition panel.

Click on the links below to see the exhibition text and images:

To Journey’s End and Beyond: The Exhibition

The Man Behind Journey’s End

R C Sherriff’s Family Background

Sherriff and Kingston Grammar School

Sherriff and the Artists Rifles

Sherriff with the 9th East Surreys

The Genesis of Journey’s End

A Star is Born

The Making of a Playwright

The 1930s: Sherriff’s Golden Decade

Man of Letters: Sherriff’s Later Career