Kingston Grammar School, c.1905. Sherriff is in the middle column, third from back (SHC ref 2332/6/6/1/1)

Kingston Grammar School, c.1905. Sherriff is in the middle column, third from back (SHC ref 2332/6/6/1/1)

Prior to the First World War Sherriff attended Kingston Grammar School. Surviving educational certificates confirm that he passed his school examinations, but he does not seem to have won any academic prizes. A school report from 1908 states that he was a “satisfactory” if not outstanding student, ranking fifth overall in a form of 20 boys for academic achievement.

Kingston Grammar School rowing team, 1912. Sherriff is sat on the far left (SHC ref 2332/6/6/1/4)

Kingston Grammar School rowing team, 1912. Sherriff is sat on the far left
(SHC ref 2332/6/6/1/4)

Sherriff shone on the sports field rather than in the classroom. Scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings reveal that he won various sports prizes at the school over the years. As well as taking part in cricket matches and rowing races, he also played hockey and was a fine athlete.

During his time at the school he made friends with boys whom he remained close to until the war, during which several of them were tragically killed in action. One of the friends who survived the war was Cyril Aubrey Manning-Press, who later became a banker. Correspondence between Sherriff and Cyril survives which dates from the First World War until the 1940s, revealing a shared enthusiasm for the theatre and amateur dramatics.

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 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