R C Sherriff’s Family Background

Robert “Bob” Cedric Sherriff was born in Hampton Wick, Middlesex, on 6 June 1896. Among his papers are letters, photographs and his father’s unpublished autobiography which offer insights into his family background and relationship with his parents.

Herbert Sherriff, c.1890s (SHC ref 3813/14/1/3/3)

Herbert Sherriff, c.1890s
(SHC ref 3813/14/1/3/3)

His father Herbert “Pips” Hankin (1857-1940) was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Herbert’s father and grandfather had been successive governors of Aylesbury Prison, but Herbert worked at the Sun Fire Insurance Office in London for almost his entire career, and in his spare time focussed on sports including cricket, a passion he shared with his son.

Constance Sherriff, c.1890s (SHC ref 3813/14/1/2/2)

Constance Sherriff, c.1890s (SHC ref 3813/14/1/2/2)

Herbert’s wife (Annie) Constance, née Winder (1871-1965) was also born in Buckinghamshire, but by the time she and Herbert had begun courting her family home was in the Mortlake area in Surrey. Her father Charles Winder is described as a “Baker” and later “Managing Baker” in successive census records. It is in his surviving wartime letters to her that Sherriff is at his most open regarding his feelings about serving on the Western Front. During the 1930s she accompanied her son on almost all of his business trips to America, while the rest of the Sherriff family stayed behind in England.

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

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

The Curtain Comes Down