South Yorkshire Times, March 2nd, 1940
Captured Nazi Ship
Darfield Man’s Part in Naval Success
Crew “Came Quietly”
Arriving in a British port last week, with 34 German prisoners on board the same ship, the whole of the crew captured from a German merchant ship, Chief Petty Officer William Arthur Randerson, of New County Road, Darfield, felt when our representative discussed the matter with him, that both he and other members of their crew deserved the few days special leave which he was enjoying.
The German ship was captured early in February and was bound for Hamburg. It was brought into a West Country port. Chief Petty Officer Randerson said the prisoners were well behaved for the whole of the journey. They had plenty of food on board as they had sufficient for a seventeen days’ journey to Hamburg. It consisted chiefly of tinned foods, even the butter substitute being tinned. They had also a good supply of coffee.
Petty Officer Randerson says he has travelled 40,000 miles since the outbreak of war. He loves the life and is finding it all the more thrilling since war began. A son of Councillor R. Randerson, he joined the Navy at the age of 19, just three years ago.
Before he joined the Navy he was Sunday School Superintendent at Darfield Wesley chapel, and was a fitter at the Chemical Works at Houghton Main Colliery. Before the war he went out to Gibraltar on three trips, and also visited several Scottish ports. Since joining the Navy he has put on weight, and now weighs 12 stones and stands 5ft. 11 ½ ins. He has six brothers, one of whom will register for service next month.
He was not expecting a leave for some time and it was a surprise to his parents, when they received a telegram last Tuesday to say he would be coming. He arrived home desperately tired at 2 a.m. last Wednesday and his leave expired on Monday.