All posts by natalie

B Company run to Mt Longdon

B Coy 3 Para are going to commemorate this Battle, accompanied by members of B Coy “the Class of 82”, by doing a virtual run from Colchester to Port Stanley by the 11th June 2020.

A Incredible Total of 7,029 miles (12,761km)!

Described as the “bloodiest battle of the Falklands campaign” the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment would mount an attack on the Argentine 7th Infantry Regiment and other ad hoc additions. Hand to hand, with bayonet and grenade 3 Para would prevail.

Mount Longdon is a long narrow feature of rocky terrain, running from east to west with two summits. As a result of its geography only one company attacking could advance along it. The plan was that the rifle companies would be led to the start line at the stream, west of Mount Longdon by members of D (Patrol) Company. 

H hour was set for 0001hrs, 12 June 1982. The start line would be known as ‘Free Kick’. With B Coy (4, 5 and 6 Platoons) in the vanguard, 3 Para approached Mount Longdon in the dark.  On the left, one of 4 Platoon’s men, stepped on a mine and the alerted Argentines opened fire at the start of a battle that stretched through to dawn, ten hours later. On the right, 6 Platoon got on to the western summit with little fighting, but a by-passed bunker fired into them as they pushed through ‘Fly Half’, and later, when pinned down, they suffered a number of men killed by mainly sniper fire.

Meanwhile 4 and 5 Platoons, using anti-armour weapons against enemy bunkers, fought their way on to the western end, but as they attempted to move to the east came under heavy automatic fire. 4 Platoon’s Commander was wounded, platoon Sgt McKay took over, and collecting some of his men and Cpl Bailey moved in to knock out a heavy machine gun post. In an action which led to the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross, Sgt McKay and one of the men were killed, but the enemy position was silenced. Now a second heavy machine gun held up B Coy HQ and 5 Platoon. Sgt Fuller was put in charge of 4 Platoon and with support from 5 Platoon, tried to knock out this one, but without success.

Maj Argue now pulled back both 4 and 5 Platoons and called down artillery and naval gunfire on the enemy positions, after which a left flanking attack was put in, making some progress. Before long, they and the rest of B Coy found themselves under fire again, and having taken such heavy casualties, Lt Col Pike brought B Coy to a halt halfway along the Longdon summit ridge. As dawn broke, and with no possibility of exploiting forward, 3 Para started digging in on Mount Longdon to spend the next two days under heavy and accurate artillery fire.

Please support B Coy and donate  http://www.justgiving.com/bcoylongdon

Children Boost Morale to Isolated Veterans

Support Our Paras enlisted the help of local schools to create pieces of artwork and write cheery messages to send to our veterans to let them know they are very much in our thoughts at this very difficult time.

Colchester local schools – Montgomery Junior and Hamilton Primary, pulled out all the stops and were honoured to help the military community.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, when many of our Veterans who are over 70 or with health conditions, are having to self-isolate we wanted to reach out and let them know that we, The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity (Support Our Paras) and wider community, are there to help and support and that they are not alone.

Many of our veteran recipients have seen active service in Operational Tours including NI and WW2 and were absolutely delighted with the fabulous pictures and words of comfort and can not thank the children enough for their thoughtful creations.

“Getting something beautiful through the post has really brightened my lockdown. I extend my sincere gratitude to the children for all their hardwork, and have proudly put mine on display” 96yrs- Ardennes/Rhine Crossing.

This week, 18-24 May, is Mental Health Awareness week and theme is Kindness. We are most grateful to all the children who took part, and to those still designing pieces, their acts of kindness have had a lasting impact on those who fought and served their country. Thank you.

If you need any help and support please do get in touch with our Head of Welfare at rwo@parawelfare.org.     Serving Personnel please contact your medical officer (MO).

Charity Merger

On the 1st January 2020 The Parachute Regiment Charity (PRC) and the Airborne Forces Security Fund (AFSF) merged to form The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity (PRAFC).

The Charity will continue under the name Support our Paras and registered charity number 1131977.

Please read the joint letter from the Chairmen.

Support our Paras troops descend on Arnhem

Teams from the whole Airborne community are making special pilgrimages to Arnhem for the 75th Anniversary Commemorations of Op Market Garden 1944. And they have chosen to support us while they are it.

Steve Larken and team (above) are cycling from the Cenotaph in London to John Frost Bridge in Arnhem. The team consists of injured & able bodied former soldiers.

They will depart the ferry on the 19th, ride to John Frost Bridge to enjoy a beer or two with friends and former colleagues. The following day we will cycle the battlefield tour and join in with the parade and celebrations. On the 21st we will cycle to Ginkel Heath DZ for the day’s events.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cyclearnhem

Ian Dorling is leading an Arnhem Bimble of retired Airborne REME. The first of these ‘Bimbles’ took place in 1986 and then every other year for about 20 years.

The current team consists of 19 men the oldest being 64 and the youngest 40ish. Our planned route is to depart from Aldershot and tab, with 35 lbs bergens, to Arnhem via London, Chelmsford, Colchester, Harwich, Utrecht and Ede. The event will be a relay with two men tabbing at any one time over short legs of approx 3 miles.  Our final leg will be from Ede to the John Frost Bridge via Heelsum and following Route Lion to arrive at the John Frost Bridge at approx 1500hrs on Fri 20 Sep 19

Ex Pegasus Crossing

In August 2019, two Officers from 2 PARA completed an endurance triathlon over three days to raise money for Support Our Paras. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pegasuscrossing

Jamie and Matt, both Captains, wanted to recognise the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy landings and raise money for their regimental charity in doing so.

The event involved:

  • 21-mile relay swim across the English Channel.
  • 150-mile bike from Calais to Bruneval (the scene of the first airborne raid).
  • 50-mile TAB from Bruneval to Pegasus Bridge (the first objective to be seized on D-Day in 1944).
Matt & Jamie during their training

The event was quite a challenge but they both reached the finish line in true PARA fashion, raising a great amount for the charity in the process. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pegasuscrossing