Robert Cedric Sherriff Biography

Robert Cedric Sherriff (6 June 1896 – 13 November 1975) was an English writer best known for his play Journey's End, which was based on his experiences as a captain in World War I. He wrote several plays, novels, and screenplays, and was nominated for an Academy award and two BAFTA awards.

Sherriff was born in Hampton Wick, Middlesex, the child of Herbert Hankin Sherriff, insurance clerk, and Constance Winder, daughter of Charles Winder, of Iver, Buckinghamshire. Educated at Kingston Grammar School in Kingston upon Thames from 1905-1913, Sheriff maintained close links with his old school for the rest of his life, sending a copy of Journey's End to the school's headmaster after the play was first performed in 1928. R.C Sheriff remained a generous benefactor to the school until his death. In particular he paid close attention to the school rowing club, which now bears his name. With Sherriff’s support the Boat Club flourished. By 1957 there were over 70 members, with their own uniform and an annual dinner.The following year, having already financed a number of boats named after a string of successful plays, Sherriff purchased a piece of land at the end of Aragon Avenue in Thames Ditton for the purpose of building a School boathouse. Completed in 1980, the building stands as a monument to the generosity and goodwill of R.C Sherriff.

After he left school Sheriff worked in an insurance office as a clerk (from 1914) and as an insurance adjuster (1918 to 1928) at Sun Insurance Company, London. Sherriff served (1915 to 1918) as a captain in the 9th East Surrey Regiment in World War I, serving at Vimy and Loos. He was severely wounded at Passchendaele near Ypres in 1917. He was awarded the Military Cross during the war.

Sherriff studied at New College, Oxford from 1931 to 1934. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Society of Antiquaries of London.