Sherriff on board a ship, possibly relating to his first American trip, c.1929 (SHC ref 2332/6/6/2/1)

Sherriff on board a ship, possibly relating to his first American trip, c.1929
(SHC ref 2332/6/6/2/1)

Surrey writer Robert Cedric Sherriff (1896-1975) is famous throughout the world for Journey’s End, the greatest play in the English language to explore the experience of serving on the Western Front. In 2013 Surrey Heritage was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a First World War commemoration project entitled To Journey’s End and Beyond: the life and legacy of R C Sherriff to celebrate Sherriff ’s career and cultural impact, focusing in particular on his iconic drama, the action of which is set in a British dugout on the eve of the great German offensive of March 1918.

The Sherriff family, c.1905. Left to right: sister Beryl; brother Cecil; mother Constance; Sherriff; father Herbert (SHC ref 3813/14/1/5/10)

The Sherriff family, c.1905. Left to right: sister Beryl; brother Cecil; mother Constance; Sherriff; father Herbert
(SHC ref 3813/14/1/5/10)

Surrey History Centre in Woking holds Sherriff ’s papers: nearly 150 boxes of letters, scripts, newspaper cuttings and other material which shed light not only on the writing and impact of Journey’s End, but also on Sherriff ’s early life as a schoolboy and insurance clerk, and his later successful literary career as a playwright, novelist and screenplay writer for the American and British film industries. The project has enabled these papers to be sorted, catalogued and interpreted to enchance our understanding and appreciation of Sherriff as a man and literary personality.

 

To learn more about the project see: www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/themes/people/writers/sherriff

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

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

The Curtain Comes Down