'Seabreezes', February 1951HE SERVED IN SIXTY SHIPS
After 39 years' service with the Marconi International Marine Communication Col, Ltd., during which he has never been absent from work through sickness, Mr John Oscar ("Jod") Durrant, storekeeper for the past three years at the Liverpool depot, retired on January 13. Aged 60, Mr. Durrant, a native of London, began his career at the age of 14 as a clerk with the old Great Eastern Railway. In October 1911 he left the railway company to join the Marconi Company as a junior wireless operator, his first ship being the famous Mauretania, in which he made one voyage.
It was while he was wireless operator of the steamer Mount Temple, in April 1912, that he received the distress signal from the liner Titanic, 49 miles away. On arrival at the scene it was found that the Carpathia had rescued the survivors. At the subsequent inquiry into the disaster, held in London, he was commended.
Mr Durrant has, during his career with the company, served for years as a radio officer in some vessels, ranging from the Mauretania to an Aberdeen trawler. He served for 17 years as an inspector at Oslo, Trieste, Bremen, Alexandra, London and, finally, Liverpool. He came to Liverpool as an inspector 12 years ago, and three years ago was appointed storekeeper.
During his career he has crossed the Equator 76 times, passed through the Suez Canal five times and the Manchester Ship Canal twice. During the First World War he was serving as wireless operator in the hospital ship Warilda when, on August 3, 1918 , with 603 wounded on board, she was torpedoed, 120 lives being lost.
Mr Durrant describes the advances in marine radio technique as amazing, and recalls that "When I learnt about wireless, valves were unheard of." He warmly praised the Marconi Company for the treatment he has received throughout his connection with the concern. He lives at Mossley Hill, Liverpool.
Mr Durrant describes the advances in marine radio technique as amazing, and recalls that "When I learnt about wireless, valves were unheard of."