Surrey History Centre, Woking
Surrey's RC Sherriff
One Surrey man who turned his experiences in the trenches into enduring drama was the playwright R C Sherriff, whose play Journey’s End remains a key part of the literary legacy of the Great War.
Born in Hampton Wick and educated at Kingston Grammar School, Sherriff made it big in Hollywood, penning such classics as The Dambusters (1955) and Goodbye Mr Chips (1939).
On the anniversary of the beginning of the First World World, the playwright has become the focus of a Surrey Heritage project – an initiative from Woking’s Surrey History Centre.
As a junior officer in the East Surrey Regiment, Sherriff spent four gruelling months on the Western Front until he was wounded at Passchendaele in August 1917.
Surrey Heritage’s project To Journey's End and Beyond: the Life and Legacy of R C Sherriff will allow Sherriff’s papers to be fully catalogued and used in a range of educational activities to bring his experiences to schools and a wider audience.
The papers include the hundreds of letters written to his parents and friends from the front which provided inspiration in the writing of Journey's End, first performed in 1928 with a young Laurence Olivier in the lead role.
For more information, visit Exploring Surrey’s Past
Surrey History Centre is a great place to find out more about Surrey’s rich and diverse heritage, it’s free to use and open to everyone. If you would like to be involved in the project or be kept informed of progress contact Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road; email@example.com, 01483 518737.