Journeys End: Summary of Act One and Act Two
Journey’s End is a 1928 drama, the seventh of English playwright R. C. Sherriff. It was first performed at the Apollo Theatre in London by the Incorporated Stage Society on 9 December 1928, starring a young Laurence Olivier, and soon moved to other West End theatres for a two-year run. The piece quickly became internationally popular, with numerous productions and tours in English and other languages. A 1930 film version was followed by other adaptations, and the play influenced other playwrights, including Noel Coward.
Set in the trenches at Saint-Quentin, Aisne, in 1918 towards the end of the First World War, Journey’s End gives a glimpse into the experiences of the officers of a British Army infantry company in World War I. The entire story plays out in the officers’ dugout over four days from 18 March 1918 to 21 March 1918. Sherriff considered calling it “Suspense” and “Waiting”, but eventually found a title in the closing line of a chapter of an unmentioned book: “It was late in the evening when we came at last to our journey’s end.
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. Early life: Sherriff was born in Hampton Wick, Middlesex, the only 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, he 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.