Scope and Content

The Correspondence section (2332/1/-) covers a diverse range of subjects, including personal letters dating from largely during and just after Sherriff's army service in the First World War. A significant amount of these letters are ones sent to his mother and father, and shed light on his experiences as a soldier. He would later refer to these letters when writing the play 'Journey's End'. There is also further correspondence which relates to his later literary career (2332/1/1/9 to 2332/1/1/31 and 2332/1/2/1 to 2332/1/8), stretching from the time of 'Journey's End' to the 1970s, when he wrote the children's book 'The Siege of Castle', his final published work. It covers all three strands of his career as a playwright for the stage, radio and television, as novelist and as film screenplay writer.

The Scripts section (2332/3/-) also spans all three areas of his literary career, and includes scripts for plays he wrote on a amateur basis prior to 'Journey's End', as well as screenplays dating from the 1930s when he worked in Hollywood, through the 1940s and 1950s when he was based back in England. Scripts for successful films such as 'The Invisible Man' (1933)', 'Goodbye, Mr Chips' (1939), 'The Dam Busters' (1955) and 'The Night My Number Came Up' (1955) can all be found in this section. There also various scripts for proposed films which were never made, such as 'Dark Angel', written for film producer Dino De Laurentiis in the 1950s.

There are also newspaper cuttings (2332/5/-) which relate to Sherriff's career, in particular 'Journey's End' (2332/5/1/-). A number of cuttings refer to screenplays and other projects which Sherriff was rumoured to working on, but which never materialised. The photographs and artwork section (2332/6/-) includes photographs concerning Sherriff's army service, British and overseas productions of 'Journey's End', and set designs by James Whale for 'Journey's End' and also Sherriff's 1930 play 'Badger's Green'.

Other papers relating to Sherriff's time as a soldier in the First World War can be found in the First World War Papers section (2332/7/-), including his ''Officer's Record of Services'' and service certificates.

There are also personal financial records, including royalty statements (2332/4/-) and papers relating to Sherriff's private interests such as archaeology and rowing (2332/8/-).

The following is a detailed summary of the contents:

2332/1/ CORRESPONDENCE 1906-1973
The general correspondence files (2332/1/1/9 to 2332/1/1/31) are largely arranged in the original order imposed by Sherriff, and cover a diverse range of subjects. Information about different aspects of his writing career can be found in these files as well as in further correspondence files (2332/1/2/- to 2332/1/8).

2332/1/1 First World War and other correspondence 7 May 1906-10 Apr 1973

2332/1/1/1 Pre-army service general correspondence 7 May 1906-27 Oct 1915 Correspondence concerning Sherriff's wish to be a school teacher, and his later plan to leave his job with the Sun Insurance Office and join the army.

2332/1/1/2/ First World War personal letters from Sherriff to his mother Constance Sherriff 1 Jan 1916-12 Jul 1918

2332/1/1/3/ First World War personal letters from Sherriff to his father Herbert Pips Hankin Sherriff 13 Jan 1916-3 Feb 1919

2332/1/1/4/ First World War personal letters from Sherriff to his brother Cecil Bundy Sherriff 28 Mar 1916-25 May 1917
Bundy's First World War letters to Sherriff are at 2332/1/1/5/12 and 2332/1/1/5/13.

2332/1/1/5/ First World War personal letters to Sherriff from family members 1 Jan 1916-21 Oct 1920
Sherriff's First World War letters to his mother are at 2332/1/1/2/, and to his father at 2332/1/1/3/.

2332/1/1/6/ First World War personal correspondence with fellow soldiers Nov 1914-17 Jul 1921

2332/1/1/7/ First World War official army correspondence 25 Aug 1917-24 Jan 1922

2332/1/1/8/ First World War personal correspondence with acquaintances and work colleagues, and general correspondence 14 Jun 1915-1960
Pre-First World War correspondence to Sherriff from work colleagues including George E Mead can be found at 2332/1/1/1/.

2332/1/2/ Correspondence relating to radio and television plays and talks 1947-4 Dec 1964

2332/1/3/ Correspondence relating to stage plays 2 May 1929-4 Nov 1961

2332/1/4/ Correspondence and papers relating to film screenplays 5 Oct 1955-9 Feb 1967

2332/1/5/ Correspondence relating to books and articles 16 Nov 1943-11 Dec 1973

2332/1/6/ Domestic correspondence and related papers 1925-13 Jul 1955

2332/2/ DIARIES 1908-1911; 1929-1941

2332/3/ SCRIPTS [c.1918]-1973
Programmes, playbills and posters for many of Sherriff's plays, including 'Journey's End' and his first staged play 'A Hitch in the Proceedings' can be found at 2332/8/12/-.

2332/3/1/ Scripts relating to 'Journey's End' 1928-1970

2332/3/1/1/ Draft scripts relating to the play 'Journey's End' nd [c.1928]-1970

2332/3/1/2/ Draft scripts relating to the later novel version of the play 'Journey's End' nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/3/1/3/ Foreign language versions of the script of the play 'Journey's End' 1929-1953

2332/3/1/4/ Draft scripts relating to a stage, film or television sequel to the play 'Journey's End' nd [mid 20th cent]

2332/3/2/ Scripts of plays staged prior to 'Journey's End' nd; [c.1921-c.1926]

2332/3/2/1/ Scripts relating to 'A Hitch in the Proceedings' nd [c.1921]
2332/3/2/2/ Scripts relating to 'The Woods of Meadowside' nd [c.1922]
2332/3/2/3/ Scripts relating to 'Profit and Loss' nd [c.1923]
2332/3/2/4/ Scripts relating to 'Cornlow in the Downs' nd [c.1923]
2332/3/2/5/ Scripts relating to 'The Feudal System' nd [c.1925]
2332/3/2/6/ Script relating to 'Mr Birdie's Finger' nd [c.1926]

2332/3/3/ Scripts of plays staged after 'Journey's End' nd [c.1930]-1972

2332/3/3/1/ Scripts relating to 'Badger's Green' nd [c.1930]-1961
2332/3/3/2/ Scripts relating to 'Windfall' nd [c.1933]
2332/3/3/3/ Scripts relating to 'St Helena' nd [c.1933]-1972
2332/3/3/4/ Scripts relating to 'Miss Mabel' Mar 1948-1957
2332/3/3/5/ Scripts relating to 'Home at Seven' nd [c.1949]-1961
2332/3/3/6/ Scripts relating to 'The White Carnation' nd [c.1953]-1954
2332/3/3/7/ Scripts relating to 'The Long Sunset' Apr 1954-1960
2332/3/3/8/ Scripts relating to 'The Telescope' nd [c.1957]-1960
2332/3/3/9/ Scripts relating to 'A Shred of Evidence' 27 Apr 1959-1970

2332/3/4/ Scripts relating to broadcast radio and television plays and programmes 1939-1962

2332/3/5/ Scripts of published novels nd [c.1935]-Feb 1974

2332/3/5/1/ Script relating to 'Greengates' nd [c.1935]
2332/3/5/2/ Scripts relating to 'The Hopkins Manuscript' nd [c.1930s]-1961
2332/3/5/3/ Scripts relating to 'Chedworth' 12 Jan 1943-[c.1947]
2332/3/5/4/ Scripts relating to 'Another Year' 1946-1948
2332/3/5/5/ Scripts relating to 'King John's Treasure' 1953-1959
2332/3/5/6/ Scripts relating to 'The Wells of St Mary's' 1961
2332/3/5/7/ Scripts relating to the 'Siege of Swayne Castle' Sep 1967-Feb 1974

2332/3/6/ Screenplays,1932-19 Feb 1964, including:
2332/3/6/18/ 'Mrs Miniver' 1940 - 1942
2332/3/6/26/ 'Odd Man Out' c.1947
2332/3/6/31/ 'The Dam Busters' 1942 - 1952
2332/3/6/32/ 'Mary Stuart' 1947 - 1955
2332/3/6/38/ 'The Big Pick Up' [later 'Dunkirk'] 1956
2332/3/6/40/ 'The Dark Angel' c.1958
2332/3/6/44/ 'Eddie's Acre' c.1963 – 1964

2332/3/7/ Draft and unfinished scripts nd [c.1929-c.1960s]

2332/3/7/1 'The Ogburn Story' nd [c.1961-c.1963]
2332/3/7/2/ 'The School' 1958-[c.1972]
2332/3/7/3/ Drafts of an incomplete and untitled novel about a County Cricket Club nd [c.1970]
2332/3/7/4/ Draft play scripts nd [20th cent]
2332/3/7/6/ Draft stories and novels nd [20th cent]
2332/3/7/7/ Draft lectures, articles and essays nd [c.1929-c.1960s]

2332/3/8/ Scripts set in the First World War (excluding 'Journey's End') [Aug 1917-c.1920s]

2332/3/8/2/ Different versions of the start of an untitled draft novel about a young officer called Jack or Jimmy Lawton [Aug 1917-c.1920s]

2332/3/8/3/ 'A Ghost on Vimy Ridge?' [drafts of an unpublished short story] nd [c.1920s]

2332/3/9/ Autobiographical scripts, 1922-Feb 1967, including:

2332/3/9/1/ 'The Past' [drafts of a short essay about Sherriff's school days] nd [c.1960s]
2332/3/9/3/ 'Memories of Active Service in France and Belgium, 1916-1917' [unpublished war memoir] nd [1922]
2332/3/9/7/ 'No Leading Lady' nd; Feb 1966-Feb 1967

2332/4/ FINANCIAL PAPERS 1929-1975

2332/4/1/ Cash books Jan 1929-1975
2332/4/2/ Stocks and shares 15 Sep 1943-27 Jan 1954
2332/4/3 Bank statements 1943-1951
Comprising: -Bank statements, mainly issued by the Esher branch, 1943-1944, 1948 and 1951. -Letter from the manager of the Esher branch concerning Sherriff's various accounts, including the monthly transfer of £120 to his mother's No 2 account, 16 Oct 1944. -Manuscript statement of account balances, nd. -Income from 1st July 1943 to 1st Oct 1944, manuscript statement, nd [1943].
2332/4/4/ Home accounts 1936-1954
2332/4/5/ Companies and accountants 1 Oct 1929-11 Sep 1944

2332/4/6 Contracts and agreements 1939-1944
Comprising: -Contract between Sherriff and Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd, granting the latter sole rights of publications in Canada of Sherriff's autobiography in book form, 27 Jul 1939. -Contract and related letter agreements to work on general screenplays for Loew's Inc [parent company of MGM] for one year, Jun-Jul 1940. -Contract between Sherriff and Myron Selznick & Company Agency, in which Sherriff agrees to employ the agency as his sole personal representative, agent and adviser for seven years, 1 Oct 1940. -Contract between Sherriff and Edward Chodorov, granting the latter rights to dramatize 'The Hopkins Manuscript', 15 Mar 1941. -Contract to work for 20th Century Fox Film Corporation for six months on 'This Above All', 29 Sep 1941. -Letter agreement with 20th Century Fox to write the screenplay of 'The House of Chedworth', Jun 1943. The agreement also assigns all ownership rights to the novel version to 20th Century Fox, apart from magazine and book publication rights. -Contract with Macmillan Company of New York for the publication of the novel version of 'Chedworth', 29 Feb 1944. -Contract to work for Warner Bros for ten consecutive weeks on a screenplay of Dodie Smith's play 'Autumn Crocus', 20 Mar 1944.

2332/4/7/ Royalties and statements 12 Jan 1929-1940
2332/4/8/ Theatre returns, UK 30 Dec 1929-Dec 1961
2332/4/9/ Foreign royalties 1929-25 Oct 1944
2332/4/10/ North American performances 16 Apr 1929-28 Sep 1945

Newscuttings from national, local and specialist periodicals, mostly supplied by Romeike and Curtice or other cuttings agencies, including reviews of professional, amateur and school productions of Sherriff's plays and of his books and films.

2332/5/1/ Newspaper cuttings relating to 'Journey's End' 1928-1973

2332/5/1/1/ Newspaper cuttings relating to British performances of 'Journey's End' 1928-1973
2332/5/1/2/ Newspaper cuttings relating to North American performances of 'Journey's End' 1929-1939
2332/5/1/3/ Newspaper cuttings relating to performances of 'Journey's End' in other countries 1929-1936 Photocopies of the original cuttings are also available.
2332/5/1/4/ Newspaper cuttings relating to amateur productions of 'Journey's End' 1931-1973
2332/5/1/5/ Newspaper cuttings relating to the 1930 film of 'Journey's End', directed by James Whale 1929-1973
2332/5/1/6/ Newspaper cuttings relating to radio and television productions of 'Journey's End' 1929-1972
2332/5/1/7 Newspaper cuttings relating to a plagiarism suit brought against Sherriff and others concerning 'Journey's End' 21 Oct 1929-19 Aug 1933
[A plagiarism suit brought against Sherriff, Maurice Browne, Gilbert Miller and Bretano's Inc. by Katherine M Burke Sherman in 1931, concerning to alleged similarities between 'Journey's End' and Burke's own play 'Flags and Flowers'].
2332/5/1/8 Newspaper cuttings relating to the estimated profits arising from the success of 'Journey's End' Feb 1929-Aug 1939
2332/5/1/9 Newspaper cuttings relating to the retirement of Lieutenant Colonel C A Nobby Clark 27 Nov 1933-14 Oct 1939
Clark is reported in the cuttings as being the man who organised the trench raid on which the plot of 'Journey's End' is based.
2332/5/1/10 'Milestones to Journey's End' [article by Maurice Browne, the producer of 'Journey's End'] Mar 1933
Published in 'Nash's Pall Mall' magazine. Browne describes his war play 'The Unknown Warrior', which preceded 'Journey's End', and how he came to be the producer for the latter play.
2332/5/1/11 Newspaper articles relating to the publication of the script of 'Journey's End' in the UK and USA 27 Jan-23 Dec 1929
2332/5/1/12 Newspaper cuttings relating to the novel version of 'Journey's End' by Sherriff and Vernon Bartlett 24 Nov 1929-28 Mar 1931
2332/5/1/13 Newspaper cuttings concerning comparisons between 'Journey's End' and other plays Feb 1929-Jun 1963
Includes comparisons with 'The Ace' by Herman Rossmann and 'The Berg' by Ernest Raymond.
2332/5/1/14 Letters from members of the public reprinted in newspapers concerning 'Journey's End' May 1929-May 1973
2332/5/1/15 Newspaper cuttings relating to foreign translations of 'Journey's End' 16 Jan 1930-18 May 1935
2332/5/1/16/ Foreign language articles and reviews about 'Journey's End' 1929-1936
2332/5/1/17 Newspaper cuttings relating to competitions mainly about opinions of 'Journey's End' Apr 1930-Dec 1972
2332/5/1/18 Newspaper cuttings of photographs of cast members from various productions of 'Journey's End' 1929-1930
2332/5/1/19 'There Lies Journey's End?' [article] Jul 1972 Article by A K Chesterton, published in 'Candour!' magazine, page 165, Vol. 23 no. 524.
2332/5/1/20 Newspaper cuttings featuring general references to 'Journey's End' 1929-1930

2332/5/2/ Newspaper cuttings relating to other works by Sherriff [1923]-1973

2332/5/3/ Published newspaper and magazine articles by Sherriff 5 Aug 1929-21 Sep 1956 Arranged alphabetically by title.

2332/5/4/ Published newspaper and magazine biographical articles about Sherriff Apr 1930-27 May 1972 Arranged alphabetically by title.

2332/5/5/ Serialisations of works by Sherriff 22 Feb 1930-Jun 1955

2332/5/7/ Newspaper cuttings relating to Sherriff's time in Hollywood Nov 1929-Sep 1935

2332/5/8/ Newspaper cuttings relating to Sherriff's personal interests Feb 1929-Dec 1965

2332/5/9/ Newspaper cuttings featuring general references to Sherriff Jan 1929-Jun 1972

2332/5/10/ Newspaper cuttings relating to individuals involved in plays and other works by Sherriff 1929-1973

2332/5/11 Cartoons and reproduced photographs relating to Sherriff in newspapers and magazines Mar 1929-Oct 1938 Includes one cutting of Deirdre Sherriff, a relative of Sherriff's, who acted in the play 'Murder in Mayfair' at the Globe Theatre, London, Oct 1934.

2332/5/12/ Other newspaper cuttings Dec 1928-May 1973

2332/5/13/ Film magazines 28 Jul 1934-25 Oct 1935

2332/5/14 German and American theatre journals and other magazines containing adverts for performances of 'Journey's End' Jun 1929-1969

2332/5/15 Other magazines 1961-1964
Comprising: -'Kingston. Britain's Top Shopping Town', article by Richard West in 'Time and Tide' magazine, 2 Nov 1961. Briefly mentions on page 1832 that Sherriff attended Kingston Grammar School. -'Sun Alliance Group Gazette', vol. 1 no. 9, Autumn 1964. Includes a photograph of Sherriff, and a brief reference to him being was an employee at the Charing Cross Branch prior to 'Journey's End' on page 12.

2332/6/ PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARTWORK nd [1910s-1970s]

2332/6/1/ Photographs of British performances of 'Journey's End' 1929-[c.1970s]

2332/6/2/ Photographs of selected stills from the 1930 film of 'Journey's End', directed by James Whale nd [c.1930]

2332/6/3/ Photographs of overseas productions of 'Journey's End' nd [c.1929-1930s]

2332/6/3/1/ Photographs of North American performances of 'Journey's End' 1929-1932

2332/6/3/2/ Photographs relating to German performances of 'Journey's End' nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/6/3/3/1-4 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Queensland, Australia 1933
The production was staged at Smith's Hall, Mount Isa.

2332/6/3/4/1-10 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Vienna, Austria nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Manuscript captions identifying the actors have been written on the reverse a few of the photographs.

2332/6/3/5 Photograph of performances of 'Journey's End' in Prague, [Czech Republic] nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/6/3/6/1-3 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Copenhagen, Denmark nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/6/3/7/1-12 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia 1930
Some of the photographs have manuscript captions on the front or the reverse.
2332/6/3/8/1-5 Photographs of a touring production of 'Journey's End' by R B Salisbury's company 'The Quaints' in the Far East nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/6/3/9/1-6 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Helsinki, Finland 1929
The five loose photographs have manuscript captions on the front, which refer to Helsinki as Helsingfors, the Swedish name for the city. The album appears to have been compiled specifically for Sherriff, and features a manuscript dedication to him on the front inside page. It contains photographs, newspaper cuttings, a programme and a poster commemorating the production.

2332/6/3/10/1-9 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Paris, France nd [c.1929-c.1930]
The photographs have manuscript captions on the front or the reverse. On the reverse of the photographs is an ink stamp Pour la reproduction R Sobol-Paris est obligatoire. Also includes a studio portrait of Virginia Vernon, the co-adapter of 'Journey's End' for the French stage, by Dorothy Wilding, 1929. Vernon has written a manuscript dedication to Sherriff on the front of the photograph, which reads: My deep admiration for what you have done...and my great faith in what you are going to do.

2332/6/3/11/1-5 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Athens, Greece nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Some of the photographs have manuscript captions on the front or the reverse.

2332/6/3/12/1-9 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Hungary nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/6/3/13/1-7 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Rome, Italy nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Several of the photographs have the ink stamp Ars Nova Potografica, Campo Marzio 48, Roma on the reverse.

2332/6/3/14/1-7 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' [by the Tsukiji Players] in Tokyo, Japan 1930
Several of the photographs have the manuscript caption ...From Paul (J or S) Cate 10/3/1930 written on the reverse.

2332/6/3/15/1-20 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Amsterdam, Netherlands nd [c.1929-c.1930], 1974
Comprising: -17 photographs featuring the ink stamp N V Vereenigde Fotobureaux, Singel 93, Postbus 719, Amsterdam2 on the reverse, c.1929-c.1930. -3 photographs featuring the manuscript caption 'Journey's End'. Dutch production, 1974 and the ink stamp Foto en copyright Gerda Van Der Veen, Koningsstr. 5 Amsterdam on the reverse. [This is the 1929 Vereenigd Tooneel Amsterdam, production of 'De Groote Reis/Journey's End', see 9314/19/1 for details].

2332/6/3/16/1-14 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Bergen and Oslo, Norway Oct 1929-[c.1930]
Comprising: - 7 photographs of performances in Bergen in Oct 1929. With manuscript captions on the reverse identifying the actors. -Studio photograph of Thomas Thomassen, Director of Den Nationale Scene in Bergen, Dec 1929. A manuscript caption on the reverse of the photograph reads: Managing Director Thomassen, who put upon the stage in Bergen 'Journey's End'. -6 photographs of performances in Oslo, c.1930. With manuscript captions on the reverse identifying the actors, and an ink stamp Fotograf, Ude, Oslo.

2332/6/3/17/1-27 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Warsaw and Danzig, Poland nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Comprising: -4 photographs of performances in Danzig [now known as Gda?sk]. With the ink stamp Generalintendanz des Stadtheatres Danzig on the reverse of each photograph. [Danzig was a semi-autonomous city state between 1920 and 1939, and became part of Poland in 1945]. -20 photographs of performances at Warsaw. With manuscript captions identifying the actors and the ink stamp Jan Malarski on the reverse of each photograph. -Studio photograph of Richard [Ryszard] Ordynski, producer of 'Journey's End' in Warsaw by Maurice Goldberg, 1929. Two copies, one of which features the manuscript dedication To Mr R C Sherriff to whose masterpiece I owe the chance of staging. Richard Ordynski, Warsaw, Dec 17th 1929. -Studio photograph of Polish translator Floryan Sobieniowski, c.1929. Features the manuscript dedication To R C Sherriff from Floryan Sobieniowski.

2332/6/3/18/1-12 Photographs of performances of 'Journey's End' in Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Comprising: -4 photographs of performances in Gothenburg. -8 photographs of performances in Stockholm. The ink stamp Almberg & Preinitz features in the right hand bottom corner of the mounts on which the photographs are pasted.

2332/6/3/19/1-2 Photographs of 'Journey's End' in Basel, Switzerland nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Both photographs have manuscript captions on the reverse which identify the featured actors.

2332/6/3/20/1-5 Unidentified overseas productions of 'Journey's End' nd [c.1929-c.1930]

2332/6/3/21/1-3 Photographs used in an exhibition about 'Journey's End' by the British Theatre Museum during May 1972 nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Photographs loaned by Sherriff for the exhibition, comprising: -Henry Wenham as Trotter, Colin Keith Johnston as Stanhope and Jack Hawkins as Hibbert in the Gilbert Miller production of 'Journey's End' at Henry Miller's Theatre in New York, 1929. -Postcard photograph of a German production in Hanover, c.1929. -Studio photograph of Sherriff by Manell, c.1920s-c.1930s. The other items and list relating to the exhibition can be found at 2332/1/8.

2332/6/3/22 Lantern slides of performances of 'Journey's End' in Germany and other countries nd [c.1929-c.1930]
Slides produced by Fry Ltd, 110 Pratt Street, London, from original photographs by various photographers. Most of the slides feature identifying manuscript labels written by Sherriff. The original photographs exist elsewhere in 2332/6/-. 2332/6/3/22/1-3 contain slides of German performances, arranged alphabetically, Aachen to Würzburg: Aachen: 2 slides Baden Baden: 3 slides Berlin: 15 slides Bochum: 3 slides Coblenz: 1 slide Coburg: 1 slide Cologne: 3 slides Darmstadt: 4 slides Döbeln: 5 slides Dresden: 8 slides Düsseldorf: 4 slides Frankfurt: 1 slide Hanover: 15 slides Königsberg: 1 slide Krefeld: 4 slides Magdeburg: 1 slide Mannheim: 2 slides Munich: 5 slides Nuremberg: 2 slides Pforzheim: 3 slides Stuttgart: 3 slides Wiesbaden: 1 slide Würzburg: 6 slides 2332/6/3/22/4-6 contain slides of performances in other overseas countries: Austria (Vienna): 4 slides Czech Republic (Prague): 1 slide Finland (Helsinki-referred to as Helsingfors on the slide labels): 10 slides France (Paris): 8 slides Greece (Athens): 1 slide Hungary: 5 slides Italy (Rome): 1 slide Japan: 4 slides Netherlands (Amsterdam): 2 slides New Zealand: 1 slide Norway (Bergen; Oslo): 10 slides Poland (Danzig; Warsaw): 11 slides Sweden (Gothenburg): 1 slide Sweden (Stockholm): 8 slides Switzerland (Basel): 2 slides USA (Chicago; New York; San Francisco):10 slides Also: Beaumont College [Jesuit public school in Old Windsor, Berkshire]: 2 slides Unlabelled and unidentified: 9 slides.

2332/6/4/ Personal photographs relating to Sherriff's army service [1915-1921]

2332/6/4/1/1-22 Personal photographs relating to Sherriff's time as a cadet in Artists Rifles nd [Nov 1915-Aug 1916]
Mainly group photographs often featuring Sherriff. Taken at the Artists Rifles camp at Romford, Essex. Many uncaptioned, a few are photographic postcards which Sherriff has addressed to members of his family and written on the reverse.

2332/6/4/2/ Personal photographs relating to Sherriff's time as an officer with the East Surrey Regiment nd [Sep 1916-Jan 1919]

2332/6/4/3/1-9 Personal unidentified photographs relating to Sherriff's army service nd [Nov 1915-Jan 1919]
Comprising: -Group photograph of unidentified officers in unknown location. -Officer on horseback in unknown location. On the back the manuscript caption Nawton has been written. -Officer on horseback in unknown location. A different officer to the photograph above. -Four unidentified officers in unknown location. -Two unidentified officers sat on a slope. -Hatless soldier, probably not an officer, standing near a hut. -Soldier, probably not an officer, in an unknown location. -Group of soldiers cooking in a field in an unknown location. -Group of men, not wearing uniform, being inspected by four officers, unknown location.

2332/6/4/4/ Personal photographs of First World War locations visited by Sherriff and his father Herbert Pips Hankin Sherriff on a post-war tour May 1921

2332/6/5/ Photographs of First World War battle scenes nd [1914-1918] Collected by Sherriff from official sources.

2332/6/5/1/1-15 Photographs possibly from unidentified official sources nd [1914-1918]
All uncaptioned except one photograph of a tank at Guillemont, France.

2332/6/5/2/1-10 Photographs possibly from various official sources 28 Apr 1916- Jan 1918
Comprising: -Photographic postcard sent by Sherriff to his father Herbert Pips Hankin Sherriff, 28 Apr 1916. The front of the postcard shows a photograph issued by the Official Press Bureau of a Zeppelin lit up by search lights. -Four photographs with printed Dutch language captions on the reverse of British and Australian troops at Gavrelle, Arras and Heuvel, 24 Mar 1917-Jan 1918. Also one photograph from the same source of a tank at Passchendaele, Oct 1917. -Five uncaptioned photographs issued by Canadian Official Photographs, nd. Featuring an observation balloon; troops at the Front; a tank; corpses on a battlefield.

2332/6/5/3/1 Photographs issued by the Imperial War Museum nd [1914-1918] Uncaptioned photographs of battlefields; troops at the Front; trenches; exploding shells; corpses on a battlefield; captured German helmets and hand grenades; destroyed buildings; mules and horses transporting equipment. Crown copyright.

2332/6/5/4/1-3 Photographs issued by the Imperial War Museum nd [1914-1918] Uncaptioned photographs of a ruined church or municipal building; troops at the Front; trenches. Crown copyright.

2332/6/6/ Personal photographs of Sherriff, family and friends nd [19th cent-1940s]

2332/6/6/1/1-4 Photographs of Sherriff as a pupil at Kingston Grammar School nd [c.1900s-c.1940s]
Comprising: -Uncaptioned mounted photograph of schoolboys sat at their desks in a classroom, c.1900s. The boy sat third from the back of the centre column is probably Sherriff. -Captioned mounted photograph of the First Eleven hockey team, Season 1911-1912. Sherriff is on the back row, second from right. -Captioned mounted photograph of the First Eleven hockey team, Season 1912-1913. Sherriff is on the back row, third from right. -Captioned mounted photograph of the rowing team, 1912. Sherriff is seated on the far left.

2332/6/6/2/1-5 Photographs of Sherriff as an adult nd [c.1930s-c.1940s] Uncaptioned photographs comprising: -Sherriff on board ship. Either 1929 [for the Broadway production of 'Journey's End'] or 1932 [his first trip to Hollywood]. -Sherriff at a Kingston Grammar School dinner, c.1930s. -Sherriff with two unidentified men in a garden, c.1940s. -Two unidentified men, one of who appears in the aforementioned photograph, c.1940s. -Passport photo of Sherriff, c.1940s.

2332/6/6/3/1-3 Photographs of a woman, probably Sherriff's mother Constance Sherriff nd [c.1918]
Uncaptioned photographs comprising: -Head and shoulders studio shot by Chaplin Jones, c.1918. -Head and shoulders studio shot by Chaplin Jones of Constance wearing her wartime nurse's uniform, c.1918.

2332/6/6/4/1-5 Photographs of Sherriff's father Herbert Pips Hankin Sherriff nd [19th cent-c.1921] Uncaptioned photographs comprising: -Passport photograph, c.1921. A duplicate of this photograph was pasted into the front of Herbert's memoir of 'A Tour to the Battlefields of France and Belgium' in May 1921. -Herbert standing in Bull Alley Trench at Vimy Ridge on the former Western Front. A duplicate of this photograph is pasted into the aforementioned memoir. Probably taken by R C Sherriff during their battlefields tour. -Herbert gardening, c.1921. -Group of people rowing in a boat on a lake with mountains and a waterfall in the background, nd [late 19th century]. Probably relating to one of Herbert's holidays in Europe. -Street in Ilfracombe, Devon, nd [late 19th century] Possibly relating either one of Herbert's cycling tours, or his honeymoon in 1892.

2332/6/6/5/1-2 Photographs of a young soldier, probably Sherriff's brother Cecil Bundy Sherriff nd [c.1918]
Two copies of an uncaptioned head and shoulders studio shot of Bundy in army uniform. Taken by Haine of Teddington, c.1918.

2332/6/6/6/1-3 Photographs of a young woman, probably Sherriff's sister Beryl Sherriff nd [c.1910s]
Uncaptioned photographs comprising: -Studio shot of a young girl, possibly Beryl, with her hair worn down. Taken by F Newton and Co., c.1910. -Head and shoulders studio shot of a young woman, probably Beryl, wearing her hair up. Taken by Chaplin Jones of Kingston upon Thames, c.1918. -Head and shoulders studio shot of a nurse, probably Beryl. Taken by Chaplin Jones of Kingston upon Thames, c.1918.

2332/6/6/7 Photograph of a baby, possibly Sherriff's godson Christopher Manning-Press 1931
Studio shot taken by Maud Shelley of Wimbledon. With a slip featuring the typescript message: Wishing Uncle Bob a Very Happy New Year from Christopher. 1/1/31.

2332/6/6/8 Photograph of an unidentified man in uniform, possibly one of Sherriff's relatives or friends nd [c.1918]
Head and shoulders studio shot taken by Haine of Teddington.

2332/6/6/9/1-3 Unidentified photographs of Sherriff's relatives or friends nd [20th cent]
Uncaptioned photographs comprising: -Young man and woman stood in field or garden. -Two women, a young boy and a dog on a hiking trip. -Formal group photograph of six unidentified men. Taken by J and G Taylor.

2332/6/6/10/1-5 Negatives of photographs of Sherriff's family nd [c.1900s-1920s]
Comprising: -Possibly Herbert, Sherriff and Bundy, c.1900s. -Sherriff and possibly Beryl sat on a wall, c.1920s. -Sherriff and possibly Beryl sat in a motor car, c.1920s. -Possibly Beryl and an unidentified man sat on a wall, c.1920s. -Possibly Beryl and an unidentified man peering over a wall, c.1920s.

2332/6/6/11/1-22 Photographs relating to Sherriff's interest in rowing 1911; nd [c.1920s-c.1930s]
Mainly uncaptioned, comprising: -Sherriff in a suit and wearing a rowing cap with an unidentified man, probably at a rowing regatta, c.1920s. -Three photographs of Sherriff in a rowing boat with an unidentified man, c.1930s. -Group photograph of possibly a Kingston Rowing Club crew standing outside a shop, c.1920s. -Two studio shots of Sherriff wearing his rowing blazer, c.1920s. Taken by G Mannell. -Sherriff in a henley shirt, possibly at Henley Royal Regatta, c.1930s. -Group photograph of rowers, probably a Kingston Rowing Club crew. Sherriff appears on the second from the right, c.1930s. Copyright Photopress, Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, London. -Unidentified rower in a boat, nd. Copyright: Photopress, Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, London. -Unidentified rower in a boat, nd. -Three photographs of a rowing crew mounted on a piece of paper, c.1920s. Sherriff appears in the top photograph (front row second from the left) and the bottom photograph (front row far left). -Six photographs of Sherriff coaching possibly a Kingston Rowing Club crew on the River Thames. Three of the photographs show St Raphael's Catholic Church on Portsmouth Road in Kingston upon Thames, and the Kingston-Surbiton Promenade in the background. Copyright: Photopress, Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, London. -Group photograph of possibly a University of Princeton rowing crew, c.1920s. On the reverse of the photograph is Sherriff's manuscript caption Princetown [sic]. Copyright: Photopress, Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, London. -Mounted studio shot of a man holding rowing oars, 1911. Features the caption: H MacNaughton-Jones, 1911. To the Cox of the winning crew-MacNaughton-Jones Cup. Mr Sherriff-1911. Taken by Moulton and Tysoe, Maidenhead, [Berkshire].

2332/6/6/12/1-6 Photographs relating to Sherriff's interest in cricket nd [c.1930s-c.1940s]
Photographs, mainly uncaptioned, comprising: -Unidentified cricketer walking on a cricket field, nd. -Unidentified cricketer leaving a cricket field, nd. -Group shot of an unidentified cricket team, nd. -Cricket match in California, possibly involving the Hollywood Cricket Team, c.1940s. On the reverse of the photograph is Sherriff's manuscript caption: Santa Monica vs Hollywood. -Group shot of members of the Hollywood Cricket Team, c.1940s. To the far right is C Aubrey Smith [founder of the Team], who is batting. On the reverse of the photograph is Sherriff's manuscript caption: From l[eft] to right: H B Warner, Ronald Colman, R C Sherriff, Boris Karloff, Clive Brook. -Group shot of the Hollywood Cricket Team, c.1940s. The front row includes Sherriff (second from left); the middle row includes Boris Karloff (second from left), Clive Brook (third from left), C Aubrey Smith (middle), Ronald Colman (third from right), H B Warner (second from right).

2332/6/6/13/1-9 Photographs relating to Sherriff's interest in archaeology 1 May 1930; nd [c.1930s]
Photographs, mainly uncaptioned, comprising: -Three aerial shots of the archaeological site of a Roman villa at Angmering, [West Sussex], nd. -Postcard from Charlie to Sherriff, 1 May 1930. Postcard shows a modern road, possibly built on the site of a Roman one, which runs past the hamlet of Allum Green, Hampshire. -Five photographs of unidentified archaeological sites, nd.

2332/6/6/14 Photograph of James Whale [stage and film director] 1930 Mounted studio shot by Gordon [Ayres?]. Whales has written the following manuscript comment on the photograph: To Bob with best wishes, James. Hollywood 1930.

2332/6/7/ Postcards 12 Aug 1915-30 Jul 1922

2332/6/7/1/1-11 Postcards sent to and from Sherriff 12 Aug 1915-30 Jul 1922 Includes: -Five postcards from Sherriff's father Herbert Pips Hankin Sherriff, Apr-27 Aug 1916. -One postcard from Sherriff's sister Beryl, 1916. -One postcard from Sherriff to his mother Constance, 16 Feb 1919. Features a photographic image of the University of Glasgow.

2332/6/7/2/1-9 French postcards 1919-c.1921
Blank postcards possibly collected by Sherriff and his father during their tour of French and Belgian battlefields in May 1921. Includes photographic postcards of Albert, Calonne Liévin, Beaumont Hamel and Lillers.

2332/6/7/3/1-3 Postcards of the gardens at Fairlawne, home of the Cazalet family, friends of Sherriff nd [20th cent]
Blank photgraphic postcards of the American, Paved and Haunted Walks at Fairlawne, Kent.

2332/6/8/1-3 Photographs of Venice nd [19th cent]
Uncaptioned mounted photographs of the Bridge of Sighs, view of St Mark's Square from the Lagoon, view from St Mark's Square looking across the Lagoon.

2332/6/9/ Publicity shots of Sherriff nd [c.1920s-c.1950s]

2332/6/10/ Photographs relating to plays by Sherriff, excluding 'Journey's End' nd [1920s-1950s]

2332/6/10/3/ Photographs relating to 'The Long Sunset' 1950s-1961

2332/6/10/4/1-9 Photographs of an unidentified production of 'The Telescope' nd [c.1956]
Possibly of St Peter's Players production at Brighton College staged during Apr 1956, or the Guildford Theatre production staged during May 1956.

2332/6/11/ Photographs relating to screenplays by Sherriff 1930s

2332/6/13/ Cartoons, drawings and a set design relating to 'Journey's End' 1929-[c.1930]

2332/6/14/ Cartoons and set designs relating to 'Badger's Green' nd [c.1930]

2332/6/16/ Illustrations of Sherriff 1930-[c.1930s]

2332/6/16/2 Cigarette card featuring a printed colour drawing of Sherriff nd [c.1937]
From Wills's Cigarettes' Famous British Authors series. Also two cards from the same series featuring colour drawings of Charles Morgan and Francis Brett Young.

2332/6/16/3 Head drawings of Sherriff by an unidentified artist nd c.1930s Five identical drawings of Sherriff. The artist has signed their name in the bottom right corner of the drawings, but the name is illegible. The sixth drawing appears to be of the artist himself, and is dedicated to Sherriff.

2332/6/17 Original packaging and exhibition captions relating to 'Journey's End' and studio portrait photographs nd [20th cent]
Includes: -Label featuring Sherriff's manuscript caption: 'Journey's End'. Photographs from Germany (Dresden, Koblenz), Estonia, Italy. -Harrods portfolio. -Swaine sleeve.

2332/7/ FIRST WORLD WAR PAPERS 1914-1963 Comprising certificates, memoranda, leave passes, training papers and other non-correspondence relating to Sherriff's army service . His First World War correspondence can be found in 2332/1/1/-.

2332/7/1/ Service certificates and documentation nd; 1915-26 Jan 1918
2332/7/2 Leave passes 8 Jan 1916-5 Sep 1917
Comprising ten passes relating to Sherriff's time as a cadet with the Artists Rifles in Essex, 8 Jan 1916-Sep 1916. Also one pass issued by the War Office on the recommendation of a medical board following Sherriff being wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele, 5 Sep 1917.
2332/7/3/ Army memoranda and orders Oct 1915-Dec 1920
2332/7/5/ Training papers 1916-Aug 1918
2332/7/6/ Personal administration 1916-1919
2332/7/7/ Maps 1916-1917
2332/7/8/ Other papers relating to Sherriff's army service 1914-1918
2332/7/9/ War veterans' reunion dinners and events 1919-1967
2332/7/10/ Publications relating to First World War veterans Jan 1922-Sep 1963

2332/8/ OTHER PAPERS 1908-1973

2332/8/1/ Organisations relating to Sherriff's education 1908-1967

2332/8/1/1/ Kingston Grammar School 1908-1967
2332/8/1/2 New College, University of Oxford Mar 1946-1948
Printed papers comprising: -Address delivered in chapel by the Warden of New College to commemorate the life of composer [Sir] Hugh Percy Allen (1869-1946), 2 Mar 1946. [Allen had been the organist of New College from 1901-1918]. -Forms and a memorandum concerning the New College War Memorial Fund, Oct 1946. -'New College Record 1945-1946', printed pamphlet, c.1947. -Memorandum concerning the forthcoming New College Dinner of 1948. -Memorandum from the Wardens and Fellows referring to a by-law concerning entitlements to sit at High Table, nd. -Form relating to the New College War Register, nd.

2332/8/2 Literary and theatrical organisations 1920-1950
Correspondence and other papers relating to: -Dramatists Club -Garrick Club -Genesta Amateur Dramatic Club -John O' London's Literary Circle -League of British Dramatists -Society of Authors -Whitfield Garrick Society.

2332/8/3 Other organisations 1943-1957
Correspondence and other papers relating to organisations including: -Boy Scouts' Association. Includes two undated letters concerning Sherriff's offer to make provision for a Scouts camp on his property [Down House Farm, Eype, Dorset]. -Esher Branch Conservative Association -Esher Parish Council -Hollywood Writers Mobilization -Screen Writers Guild -Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR -Thames Ditton and District Cottage Hospital.

2332/8/4/ Archaeology and history 1918-1951

2332/8/5/ Gardening and poultry keeping 1931-1952

2332/8/6/ Rowing 1913-1957

2332/8/7 Sports other than rowing May 1913-Apr 1951
Letters, memoranda and other papers relating to the British Sportman's Club, Old Kingstonian Hockey Club, Rosslyn Park Football Club and cricket. Including: -Fixture card for Rosslyn Park Football Club, 1924-1925. -Fixture card for the Old Kingstonian Hockey Club, 1949-1950. -Fixture booklet for London Athletic Club's Schools Challenge Club Meeting on 20-21 Apr 1951. -Cricket score record for Kingston Grammar School, 10 May-30 Jul 1913. -Cricket score record for a match between Sherriff's XI and E & D C Fire Brigade XI at Alexandra Recreation Ground [Epsom?], 7 Aug 1922. -Programme for FA Cup final at Wembley between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, 1923, the first football match played at Wembley Stadium

2332/8/8/ Charities 1921-1949

2332/8/9/ Cars 1944-1953

2332/8/10 Invitations nd; 1945-1951

2332/8/11/ Certificates, permits and other personal documentation 1911-1948

2332/8/12/ Programmes, playbills and posters relating to plays by Sherriff 1929-1972
Related scripts for these plays are at 2332/3/-.

2332/8/13/ Publicity material and events relating to films for which Sherriff was a screenplay writer 1934-1955

2332/8/14 Dust jackets of books by Sherriff nd [c.1948-1973]
Comprising: -'Journey's End', Japanese edition of the novel version by Sherriff and Vernon Bartlett, nd. -'Another Year', published by Heinemann. Designed by A E Barlow, c.1948 -'The Cataclysm', published by Pan Books, c.1958 -'The Siege of Swayne Castle', published by Gollancz. Designed by Graham Humphreys, [1973].

2332/8/15 Programmes and tickets for plays by various authors, excluding Sherriff [1910s-1970]
Includes programmes for productions by Genesta Amateur Dramatic Club, 1922-1926.

2332/8/16/ Maps 1902-1937

2332/8/17 Reprints of articles about the East Surrey Regiment during the Second World War 14 Aug 1943-28 Feb 1945
4 reprinted articles and one typescript article sourced from the 'Surrey Comet', reporting on the East Surrey's Regiment's participation in the North African and Italian campaigns.

2332/8/18 Cartoons and illustrated short story relating to Sherriff or his brother Cecil Bundy Sherriff nd [c.1910s]-1919
Comprising: -'A History of England' by Charles V Milton', nd. Incomplete manuscript spoof history, possibly written by a pupil at Kingston Grammar School. Features colour illustrations of historical scenes. -Hand illustrated Christmas card addressed to Bundy from [Kingston] Grammar School. Signed by C[harles] V Milton, Gerald Clayton, [illegible], Edwin Keetch, [illegible], W P [illegible]. -'The History of Mr Joseph's Light Brown Boots. In 6 Volumes', nd. Hand illustrated manuscript short story, possibly by either Bundy or Sherriff. -'A Mountain Adventure', nd. Hand drawn cartoon depicting the escapades of two mountaineers, possibly by either Bundy or Sherriff. -'Tubby's Terrible Xmas Dream', nd. Hand drawn cartoon, possibly by either Bundy or Sherriff. -'Oxford Street Times', 1919. Hand illustrated manuscript spoof magazine written mainly by Sherriff and other employees of the Oxford Street branch Sun Fire Office. Most of the illustrations may been drawn by Sherriff.

2332/8/19 Programme relating to a Sun Office Annual Dinner 1922
Held at the Waldorf Hotel, Aldwych, London on 16 Feb 1922.

2332/8/20 Notes of addresses nd [20th cent]
Relating to E Boatright, James Curtis, Charles Hanson Towne, William S Humphrey, Private W G Stevens and C Wigley.

2332/8/21 Miscellaneous brochures nd [c.1919]-1937
Comprising: -'Sale of Professional Charges', revised edition issued by the Royal Institute of British Architects, c.1919. -Two brochures for Hotel Gary in Indiana, USA, c.1930s. -Centenary Catalogue of the Tauchnitz [German printers and publishers] edition, 1937.

2332/8/22 'Webb's Characters in Bluebeard [colour cartoons published by W Webb of 146 Old Street, London] nd [19th cent]


2332/9/5/ Herbert Hankin Sherriff's diaries 1900-1916
Brief entries recording daily events, cycling tours, etc.


Administrative / Biographical History

Robert "Bob" Cedric Sherriff was born in Hampton Wick, Middlesex, on 6 June 1896, to insurance clerk Herbert "Pips" Hankin (1857-1940), and his wife Constance, née Winder. Herbert's family hailed from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, where his father had been the Governor of Aylesbury Prison. Herbert's grandfather and great grandfather also seem to have been governors of the same prison. Constance (1871-1965) was also born in Buckinghamshire, but by the time she and Herbert had begun courting her family home was in the Mortlake/Richmond area, then part of Surrey. Her father Charles Winder is described as a 'Baker' and later 'Managing Baker' in successive census records. The same records also indicate that Constance was in fact her middle name, her Christian name actually being Annie. However, her preference was to be called Constance, and she is usually referred to as Constance in surviving archive material.

Sherriff was educated at Kingston Grammar School, Surrey, where he was a member of the rowing, cricket and hockey teams, and took part in various school athletic events during his time there. He seems to have been more of a sporty than scholarly pupil, and won several sports prizes.

By the outbreak of the First World War Sherriff had left school and begun work as a clerk at the Sun Fire Office, the same company as his father. Although his employers preferred for Sherriff not to enlist, he joined up in November 1915 with the Artists Rifles. By January 1916 he had begun his training at Hare Hall Camp at Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. In September 1917 he obtained a commission with the East Surrey Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. Sherriff was sent to France, landing at Boulogne on 28 September 1916. He reached the 9th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment, at Estrée-Cauchy on 1 October 1916, and served in France until he was wounded in action on 2 August 1917 during the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres), and was sent back to England for treatment. During his active service Sherriff mentioned suffering bouts of neuralgia in letters to his parents, and he would later portray the character of Hibbert in 'Journey's End' as claiming to suffer from the same condition. He never returned to active service in France, and remained with the 3rd and 12th Battalions, the East Surrey Regiment, in Britain until he was demobilised in early 1919. Sherriff's 'Officer's Record of Service' shows that he retained the rank of Second Lieutenant throughout his active service in France. Later while on home service he was promoted firstly to Lieutenant on 5 March 1918, and then later to Captain on 8 January 1919.

In 1919 Sherriff unsuccessfully applied for a permanent commission in the army, and he returned to working for his pre-war employers. He devoted his free time to sport, creative writing and amateur dramatics. Prior to 'Journey's End' Sherriff wrote at least six plays on an amateur basis, often as a means to raise funds for local causes and organisations, including the Kingston Rowing Club. In 1921 came his first play, a farce called 'A Hitch in the Proceedings', which was first performed by The Adventurers at the Gables Theatre in Surbiton. His final staged play prior to 'Journey's End' was 'Mr Birdie's Finger', which was first performed in 1926 by The Genesta Amateur Dramatic Club at Surbiton Assembly Rooms. Sherriff also acted in several of these early plays, as did his sister Beryl Sherriff (1893-1966).

In 1928 came 'Journey's End', his first and most spectacular dramatic success, which was produced by the Incorporated Stage Society and performed for just two nights at the Apollo Theatre in London on 9 and 10 December 1928. The play was set in the trenches in March 1918, and was based on his own experiences and comrades at the Western Front. Previous war plays by other writers had not yet proved to be popular with audiences, and 'Journey's End' was viewed as a risky prospect by theatre managers. However, its first two performances were well received, and the play transferred to the Savoy Theatre in January 1929. It soon proved to be a critical and commercial success on an international basis, and was performed in places as varied as Estonia and Japan.

During the 1930s Sherriff went on to write several more plays which reached the West End, including 'St Helena' (1936), which he co-wrote with the actress Jeanne de Casalis. They met with varying degrees of success, but never equalled achieved by 'Journey's End', He also published the novels 'The Fortnight in September' (1931), which proved popular with readers, 'Greengates' (1936) and 'The Hopkins Manuscript' (1939), which saw Sherriff tackle the science fiction genre. For two years from October 1931 he held a special studentship at New College, Oxford, where he later (1937) founded a scholarship. Sherriff also began his career as a screenplay writer during this decade. In 1932 he signed a contract with Universal Pictures in Hollywood, and the rest of the decade saw him travelling back and forth to California from Surrey, while he wrote and co-wrote various film scripts, including 'The Invisible Man' (1933), 'One More River' (1934) and 'The Road Back' (1937). His biggest success came in 1939 when he was nominated along with Eric Maschwitz and Claudine West for an Academy Award for writing the adapted screenplay for 'Goodbye, Mr Chips'.

With the outbreak of the Second World War Sherriff attempted to return to Britain to help with the war effort, but various circumstances beyond his control meant he was not able to leave Hollywood for several years. During this time he wrote and co-wrote more screenplays for the studios, including 'That Hamilton Woman' (1941), 'This Above All' (1942) and the Academy Award winning 'Mrs Miniver' (1942), for which he was an uncredited writer. By the end of 1944 Sherriff had managed to secure a passage home, and on his return to Britain he resumed play writing, beginning with 'Miss Mabel' (1948). Four further plays of his were staged between 1950 and 1960. One of these plays was 'The White Carnation' (1953), which was revived in late 2013 at Finborough Theatre in London, and later transferred to Jermyn Street Theatre in early 2014. Sherriff's principal hobby, archaeology, is reflected in his play 'The Long Sunset' (1955), which is set in AD 410, and tells the story of the last of the Roman families left in Britain following the collapse of the Empire. He again channelled his interest in history when he wrote the children's novels 'King John's Treasure' (1954), and 'The Siege of Swayne Castle' (1973), which was his last published work. However, it was his work as a screenplay writer which yielded his most notable successes during the post-World War Two phase of his career. In 1956 Sherriff was nominated for BAFTA Best British Screenplay Awards for 'The Dam Busters' and also 'The Night My Number Came Up', both of which had been released in 1955.

Sherriff's memoir, 'No Leading Lady,' was published in 1968. He never married, and remained devoted to his mother, with whom he lived, latterly at his Esher house, "Rosebriars", which he had bought in March 1930. The pair lived together at "Rosebriars" until Constance died in 1965, after which Sherriff lived alone at the house. He died in Kingston Hospital on 13 September 1975, and was survived by his younger brother Cecil "Bundy" Sherriff (1899-1989), an insurance official. His sister Beryl had died in 1966, just one year after their mother.

Access Information

There are no access restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the Governors of Kingston Grammar School in March 1979. A second deposit was made by the School in April 2014.

Other Finding Aids

An item level list is available on the Surrey History Centre online catalogue

Archivist's Note

This detailed catalogue replaces a temporary box list which was originally the main finding aid for these papers. The catalogue was produced as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund during 2014-2015 to publicise and improve access to the Sherriff papers.

Conditions Governing Use

Any requests to publish material in this collection should be directed to Surrey History Centre in the first instance, who will seek permission from the depositor on the searcher's behalf.

Custodial History

Sherriff bequeathed his papers to the Governors of Kingston Grammar School, while his 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 realized on its sale established the RC Sherriff Trust (formerly the Rosebriars Trust), which supports the arts within Elmbridge Borough.

Related Material

For further correspondence and papers of R C Sherriff, deposited by Elmbridge Museum at Surrey History Centre, see 3813/-. Additional material can also be found at 9314/-, deposited by various donors during 2014-2015.

The Exploring Surrey's Past website has a guide to the Sherriff papers which includes lists of archive material relating to Sherriff held elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in Australia and the USA.

Sherriff's library collection of books formed part of his personal library and have also been transferred to Surrey History Centre from Kingston Grammar School Library for safe keeping and to facilitate access for researchers. Further details of these and other titles can be found on the Surrey Libraries Catalogue . Amongst the highlights of this collection are first editions of Sherriff's novels and plays. The international appeal of Sherriff's writing is demonstrated by the many foreign language translations of his works. The collection includes over a dozen translations of Journey's End into languages as diverse as Polish, Siamese, German, Croatian and Japanese.


Roland Wales, From Journey's End to the Dam Busters: The Life of R.C. Sherriff, Playwright of the Trenches (2016, Pen & Sword)

For a definitive list of RC Sherriff's literary works compiled by Roland Wales, including both published and unpublished plays, books and films, see the Exploring Surrey's Past website