News | Scouting goes to Hollywood: Journey’s End



Read all about the new film version of Journey’s End and Scouting’s involvement. Then encourage your young people to watch the film and have a go at the creative writing exercise below. You never know, there may be a young R.C Sherriff amongst them!

It’s not often that Scouting gets involved with a big film production, but this year it finds itself on the red carpet and part of an extraordinary story that started with a generous, talented man: R.C.Sherriff. Now a remarkable new film of his seminal play, Journey’s End is helping people learn more about the trials of the first world war while supporting future generations of Scouts.

R.C. Sherriff was a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He first found fame as the author of Journey’s End, his deeply moving play about a group of soldiers on the western front during the first world war. Based on his own experiences in the trenches, he wrote with great humanity, wit and skill, creating a gripping drama that has rarely left the stage since it was first performed in 1929, with Lawrence Olivier in the lead role as Stanhope.

Sherriff went on to enjoy a glittering career in Hollywood, writing the screenplays for film such as the Invisible Man, Goodbye Mr Chips, the Four Feathers and perhaps most famously, The Dambusters. It is unusual for a writer to have written with such lasting impact on both world wars.   

When Sherriff died, he left the copyright to his works jointly to his old school, Kingston Grammar and the Scouts – both of which meant a great deal to him growing up. Scouting has benefitted over the years from revivals of his work, including The White Carnation and Journey’s End, and the sale of his novels – including a highly idiosyncratic science fiction novel, The Hopkin’s Manuscript, about a gentleman chicken farmer who learns the moon is soon to collide with the earth.

This year marks the centenary of the end of the first world war, and it’s fitting that this new film version of Journey’s End will be released in 2018. Directed by Saul Dibb (The Duchess, Suite Francaise) and featuring an all-star cast including Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield, Toby Jones, Tom Sturridge, Stephen Graham and Paul Bettany, the film is a moving commemoration of the sacrifices made and a memorial to those who lost their lives.

Some Scouts from 22nd Cardiff were lucky enough to visit the set during filming, where they were given a guided tour by producer, Guy de Beaujeu. Kay Holmes, leader at the Group said: ‘The Scouts were enthralled by the experience. Guy made a massive impact on them. His passion for the film really showed and the Scouts picked up on it.’ 

Journeys End Blog2

The film will be released on 2 February 2018 and cannot be recommended highly enough.


Creative writing activity

  1. Imagine you are a soldier in the trenches in the first world war. What are you feeling? What can you see? What you can you taste, touch and smell? Write a short poem or descriptive writing that captures this. 
  2. Arrange for your Scouts to watch the film and write a review afterwards. Read our review. (Warning – contains spoilers!). 



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