Presentation of Colours 13 July 2021

We hope you were able to gather with Airborne friends to watch the Presentation of Colours this year. On 13th July our Colonel In Chief, HRH The Prince of Wales presented the new Colours to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of The Parachute Regiment. 

Unfortunately, due to the extension of the Step 3 Government restrictions, guest attendance to the event was very limited, focusing on the serving and their families, especially those that could not have a Pass Off Parade in the last year.  

The Parachute Regiment’s Colonel in Chief, HRH The Prince of Wales salutes the New Colours on parade

The broadcast started at approximately 1045hrs centred on the parade square in Merville Barracks, there was Three Guards drawn from the three battalions and we saw the Old Colours marched off for the last time. The Consecration Service followed and the New Colours were presented to the three Battalions. Activity on the Parade Square finished with a flypast and freefall display by the Red Devils.

Forces TV broadcast the event live on our Regimental Facebook page for our many supporters that could not attend in person.

There was also a range of commemorative merchandise for sale through the Airborne Shop with profits going towards SUPPORT OUR PARAS, The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity.

Our Own Doing It For Our Own

Ben Swarbrick, ex-3 PARA, recently attempted the 3 Peaks with a difference.

Starting on 13 June, he attempted to summit the 3 Peaks, 11 times in 9 days. The total distance in terms of climbing is reaching the summit of Mt Everest four times.

Ben is raising money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS with his challenge so he can support his fellow Airborne. Ben said, “I love the mountains, I love a challenge and I love pushing myself.”

Ben smashed his fundraising target, but can you help him go that little bit further? Visit his fundraising page here to donate and send him a message of support!

PARA VETERAN REG CURTIS STILL SUPPORTING US

When Reg Curtis passed away in January 2016 it is believed that he was the last man standing from the original volunteers who called themselves No. 2 Commando, 11th SAS, 1st Parachute Battalion, the pioneers who set the bar for The Parachute Regiment.

In 1940, when they answered Winston Churchill’s call for a new type of fighting soldier, there were no special parachutes for jumping from aircraft, and no suitable aircraft. All too often they suffered fatalities or severe injuries in training. They were literally jumping into the unknown.

Before he died Reg pledged income from his book The Memory Endures to our charity. Badly wounded at Arnhem in 1944, which led to his right leg being amputated, he wanted to support his modern-day paratrooper equivalent. Reg’s book was published by his family under their imprint Pilots Publishing and has remained in print ever since, with all profits sent to SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

We thank Reg for his loyalty to the Regiment he loved, and his family for their care with his legacy. Reg’s nephew Geoffrey Holland, who administers Pilots Publishing, appeals for others to join Reg and support our work in his name. Please take a look at his message here: https://justgiving.com/campaign/regcurtis.

Geoffrey says he couldn’t have wished for a better role model than Reg. Frankly, nor could we. Reg, we salute you. You and your comrades will always be remembered.

To buy Reg’s book, visit https://pilotspublishing.co.uk/the-memory-endures. Geoffrey’s email address is there. Copies are available worldwide by mail order.

1940 Airborne Burpee Challenge

The first annual 1940 Airborne Burpee Challenge was a huge success this April, raising over £16,000 for SUPPORT OUR PARAS!

Almost 50 people took part in the challenge to do 1,940 burpees throughout the month of April in honour of the year Airborne Forces were formed.

April also marked 15 years since The Parachute Regiment was first deployed to Afghanistan and although we have not been in theatre for a number of years, the scars and trauma many soldiers suffered there still lives with them. Maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining our physical health, but for soldiers it is often difficult to talk about some of their experiences. 

Our Burpee entrants have done an amazing job in raising money to help us to help them. SUPPORT OUR PARAS remains committed to helping any member of The Parachute Regiment or Airborne Forces talk about their experiences and get them the help they need.

The 1940 Airborne Burpee Challenge will become an annual event, so don’t worry if you missed out in 2021; it will return in 2022!

Can You Help Us To Help Jon?

At just 24 years old, paratrooper Jon became C4 tetraplegic, with no movement from his neck down, following a road traffic accident. His dreams of joining the SAS and having a full military career like his father, uncle and grandfather were taken away. But now there is a chance for him to lead a more independent life, thanks to a ‘Jaco’ robot arm.

www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/robotarmforjon

At 16 years old, Jon started his training to become a Paratrooper. He was Champion Recruit at his passing out and joined C Coy 3PARA. In 2003, he did a tour of Iraq. His intention was to join Sniper Company and try for SAS selection.

Jon has no movement below his neck and controls his daily life through a chin-operated joystick on his electric wheelchair

However, in 2003, Jon suffered a catastrophic injury in a Road Traffic Accident and has been C4 tetraplegic ever since: no movement from his neck down; for 18 years, his sole but limited control of his daily life has been through a chin-operated joystick on his electric wheelchair; worlds away from the SAS Sniper life he was working towards.

Jon wants what all of us want, a more active and meaningful life and to be able to make an active contribution to society. He has recently enrolled in an Open University course as a start point. However, his tetraplegia has presented new obstacles even to online learning, as well as daily living.

His family recently became aware of a ‘Jaco’ robotic arm, which could radically transform Jon’s life by allowing him independence and the ability to complete tasks that able-bodied people take for granted, like eating, switching on lights, scratching your own itches and taking a selfie!

A ‘Jaco’ arm would radically improve Jon’s quality of life

As you might expect, this tech doesn’t come cheap. This is where we need your help.

Jon is one of our own and family take care of each other. But there may be other brothers out there who one day may need the same help. Your donations will support Jon and others like him.

Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/robotarmforjon to help us reach our target.

The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity