All posts by natalie

New 16 Assault Brigade Flash

On Monday 30 November 2015, 16 Air Assault Brigade will re-subordinate under Commander Field Army (CFA), from Joint Helicopter Command (JHC).

To mark the occasion 16 Air Assault Brigade will change the Brigade Flash, back to ‘The Pegasus’, on a simple dawn parade held on Wednesday 25 November 2015.

Click on the image below to view the letter from the Regimental Lt Colonel in full.

20151020_New 16 Assault Brigade Flash

Paras unite to rebuild car at Brands Hatch

The Support Our Paras Racing debut season in the British Touring Car Championship ended at Brands Hatch with the injured ex-Paratroopers again highlighting the major steps forward they’ve taken this year.

In what unquestionably has been a baptism of fire for the TENA Men-backed team, the Paras united to rebuild the front-end of Derek Palmer’s Infiniti in less than 90 minutes.

Having delivered an impressive drive in the opening race on the 2.4-mile Grand Prix Circuit, working his way through from 27th on the grid to finish 21st, the 28-year-old from Lesmahagow was upbeat ahead of the day’s second race.

Paras Racing Brands Hatch (2)“The car feels really good,” Palmer who, like the Paras, made his BTCC debut this season, said immediately afterwards. “We’ve made a number of changes to the rear of the car, which means it’s now totally different to drive, and I’ve adapted my driving style to maximise the best from it.

“The main thing is I feel we’ve made a big step in the right direction. I enjoyed the race, got a good result and now we look forward to the final two races of the season.”

Unfortunately, after lining up 24th on the grid for Race 2, and eyeing a potential top 15 finish, Palmer’s outing lasted less than a lap before he was punted off by the Volkswagen of former champion Alain Menu.

“Again I made two or three positions off the start, which was good,” Palmer continued. “Menu was behind me, and when everyone came down into Clearways, the fast right-hander entering the start-finish straight, he just outbraked himself and wiped me out in the process.

Paras Racing Brands Hatch (5)“He was given a reprimand by the stewards, and he came and apologised afterwards, but the damage had been done. There was a huge amount of damage to the front-end of the car.”

That damage amounted to around 20 new parts, according to team principal Derek Palmer Snr.

“The damage was extensive,” he explained. “Front wings, front bumper, radiator cowling, the monster bar on the front: they were all destroyed. It was a major job for the boys.

“But they pulled it all apart, rebuilt the front end of the car from the engine forward and had it ready for Race 3, and all in less than 90 minutes. Around 20 new parts had to be introduced to the car, so it was an expensive rebuild.”

The Mallory Park-based team’s race cars are prepared by injured ex-servicemen from the Parachute Regiment, with all team profits being donated to Support Our Paras, the official Regiment charity.

And John Price, one of the injured ex-Paras — watched by Lieutenant General John Lorimer, The Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment, who made a special visit to support the team — was one of the first to get on with the repairs to the damaged Support Our Paras Racing car.

Paras Racing Brands Hatch (4)“It’s what we do,” he said. “That’s why we’re here and part of the team, to challenge ourselves and show everyone that we’re capable of mixing it with the best.

“We may have been new to motorsport and the BTCC when we were here in April for the season-opener, but we learn fast, and we work perfectly as a team, especially when we’re under pressure.
“The car looked a mess when it arrived back at the garage after it was taken out in Race 2, but we just took a deep breath and got on with it. We were never in any doubt we’d have the car back on the grid for Race 3.”

Staring from 30th and last place on the grid, Palmer battled through to eventually finish 23rd.

“It’s testament to the guys that we were even out for Race 3,” the Zurich-based scot said. “Sure it’s been a baptism of fire for the team this year, but we’ve all learned so much and we’ll be back bigger, better and even stronger in 2016.”

Photos: Copyright Jakob Ebrey

United States Marine Corps Marathon

For the second year running, a 7 man team of serving and retired Paratroopers will be taking part in the 40th Anniversary Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

The race will take place on Sunday 25 October this year and participants will embark on the 26.2-mile journey in the 40th MCM starting at 7:55 a.m.  There will be a live broadcast conducted by Comcast SportsNet with highlights of the MCM’s background and history.  The MCM promises a spectacular start with international flags from 54 different nations and the firing of the M2A1 Howitzer.

If you’d like to support our team, please visit their fundraising page at


SUPPORT OUR PARAS is pleased to announce a new agreement with Barclays to fund the transitional support of soldiers into new employment after leaving the Parachute Regiment. This funding leads directly to new employability, enterprise and financial skills for soldiers which will sustain a successful new civilian life.

Lt Colonel Bruce Radbourne, Regimental Lt Colonel of the Parachute Regiment said:

BAR_Landscape_2C_V“We are delighted to receive Barclays’ support in this crucial area of our charity’s work. This welcome commitment to the welfare of the Regiment’s soldiers is part of a four year programme under the pioneering citizenship initiative of Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment and Resettlement Programme (the “AFTER Programme”).

Our Transition and Welfare Team assist those Parachute Regiment soldiers who have been injured or become ill as a result of their service, either on operations in Afghanistan and other conflicts, or through the Regiment’s demanding training programme and military parachuting. The aim is to ensure that those transitioning to civilian life through Medical Discharge are able to enter employment, education or training appropriate to their physical and mental condition, ability and potential.”

The Regiment’s Transition and Welfare Cell works with each individual and ensures that they receive the correct guidance and advice on their chosen next career.  The process is led, deliberately, by the veteran as this encourages motivation and self confidence and also prepares the individual for the realities of the civilian employment world.  In order to attract funding for training or education the veteran’s employment choice must meet the following criteria:

– The career choice must be within the physical and mental capabilities of the individual, not just now but as they get older.

– It must be appropriate and realistic (skills and potential).

– The veteran must be able to demonstrate through research that the career choice is in demand in the area in which they wish to settle and that it can provide a good standard of living.

These criteria ensure:

– That the individual does not waste the funding available and reduces their risk of becoming unemployed or unskilled, thus preventing them from re-entering the welfare chain in the future.

– Demonstrates that funding from external partners is used effectively and with good governance.

SUPPORT OUR PARAS is a charity (1131977) which supports The Parachute Regiment through the welfare of serving soldiers and families and those affected by recent operations, and through the maintenance of its regimental efficiency, ethos, spirit and heritage.

For more information: Laura McPhilemy Regimental Welfare Officer 01206 81 7102 or Stephen Cooper, Charity Director 07946 531139

I Played the Piano and Made the Tea – one soldiers time in 10 PARA

“As a child and young man whenever I asked ‘What did you do in the War, Dad?’ the reply was always the same; ‘I played the piano and made the tea.’

Private Alec Wilson enlisted in 1940 joining The Wiltshire Regiment for basic training and subsequently transferring to The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Sussex.  In 1942, the battalion began its conversion into one of the ‘new-fangled’ parachute battalions, becoming The Tenth Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.

I Played the Piano and Made The Tea‘I Played the Piano and Made the Tea’ details Alec’s time with 10 PARA and the action he saw including his time in Arnhem as part of Operation Market Garden as well as going on to talk about his time as a POW in Czechoslovakia.  Written by Alec’s son, the book even delves into the lives of some of the other men who served with Alec and the roles they had within the battle.

The books proceeds have previously been donated to The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust, and following the closure of the charity, the author, also called Alec, has generously chosen to continue donating these proceeds to SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

Alec initially wrote the book as something for his children and grandchildren to read so they could learn about his father’s time in the military, but the book has since proved popular with a much wider audience.

In his foreword, Colonel John Waddy OBE, says “I hope, that in writing this book, Alec will inspire other sons, and grandsons, to discover the stories of their parents and grandparents, which otherwise will be lost for ever, especially in this electronic age when much seems to be so fleeting.”

If you are interested in buying a copy of ‘I Played the Piano and Made the Tea’, please get in touch with Alec on for more information.