Jack was Tom's older brother. He was in the RASC and not a Commando. He was awarded the Military Medal for his actions on board the Lancastria. The following two recommendations relate to the actions of Sgt. John 'Jack' Durrant and another, Sgt Clarke, whilst on board the Lancastria as it sank after bombing off the coast of St Nazaire on the 17th June 1940 for which they were awarded the Military Medal. Jack survived. One figure I have seen shows thousands of other soldies and sailors on board did not.
Sgt J. Durrant, service number S/6340450 of the RASC.
"For conspicuous gallantry as Nos.1 of Bren guns on upper deck, fired their respective guns until the ship sank, and though other members were killed and wounded at the guns, one gun being disabled, obtained another from a unit which could not use it, and continued the action. Their cheerful demeanour inspired everyone."
" These two NCO's assumed charge of the units Bren guns and kept up a heavy and accurate fire at hostile aircraft from the upper deck, in spite of casualties to the other gun members. They showed complete disregard of danger, and by their steady courage undoubtedly minimised casualties from hostile machine gun fire. They fired their guns until the ship sunk under them. Sgt. Durrant's gun was hit and blown overboard; he obtained another and resumed the action"
This photo is courtesy of Jack's grandchildren Claire and Paul. Posted by Pete R.