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RC Sherriff, the son of an insurance clerk, was born in 1896 and educated at Kingston Grammar School. He worked in an insurance office until, early in WW1, he joined the East Surrey regiment and in 1917 he was severely wounded at Ypres. After the war he returned to his former job and started writing plays for local amateur theatrical groups. Journey’s End (1929), based on his letters home from the trenches, was an enormous success and became a classic. In the 1930s Sherriff went to Hollywood to write the script for The Invisible Man; subsequently he contributed to, or wrote the script for, Mrs Miniver, Goodbye Mr Chips, The Dam Busters and many other successful films. He wrote several novels, including The Fortnight in September(1931), Greengates(1936), and The Hopkins Manuscript(1939). For many years RC Sherriff lived with his mother in a large house in Esher; he died there in 1975.