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).

Letter from HRH Prince Charles

COVID19 and our Support

Letter from HRH Prince Charles

We are ALL affected by the COVID-19 virus.

The Government has directed that if you or anyone in your household shows the symptoms of COVID 19 (continuous cough, high temperature) that your entire household stays at home in isolation from other people for at least 14 days. Observing this advice is essential to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they do not go to work or places where other people congregate while exhibiting symptoms.

The Prime Minister has announced further significant measures: stop non-essential contact with others; stop all unnecessary travel; people should  work from home where they can.

In light of this and the need to slow the spread of coronavirus, particularly to individuals at higher risk (elderly and those with existing chronic illnesses), RHQ PARA and Charity staff have switched to remote working from home.  All Regimental Recruiting activities have been cancelled as have the following events:

  • Ardennes/Rhine Crossing 75thCommemorations
  • 3 Para Reunion
  • March of Loyalty
  • Hardwick Hall
  • Pegasus Network Meetings
  • 4 Para Reunion
  • PARAS’10 Colchester postponed to 7 Nov
  • Normandy 76
  • Regimental Commemoration NMA PRA Dinner Bosworth Hall

Decisions will be made on the following events in due course:

  • Eden Camp
  • Arnhem 76

The Charity’s Welfare Team will continue to operate as normally as possible, although staff availability may impact speed of response. Please bear with us while we adjust to the situation and establish reliable methods of communication.

Veterans, who may be vulnerable through age or illness or do not have family that can support them in isolation, may need RHQ/PRAFC support. Those that are vulnerable and need assistance will have to be monitored. Assistance may be required to resupply them if the situation persists and regular monitoring and communication will be vital to their care, but please note the high risks of physically visiting which should be avoided.

In summary, COVID 19 is a significant threat to the health and wellbeing of our veterans, particularly the more elderly or infirm. We all have a role to play in physically isolating ourselves and our families to reduce the spread of the virus, as well as keeping in touch with vulnerable veterans by electronic means. If they need support or advice that cannot be provided locally then our Welfare Team is ready to offer advice.

RHQ PARA Welfare Team:

Laura McPhilemy (Head of Welfare) RWO@parawelfare.org Mobile: 07702 190685

Sue Laidler (Welfare Assistant) welfarecell@parawelfare.org  Mobile: 07340347136

SMASH AND GRAB MOUNT TOUBKAL SUMMIT

This is your chance to join Support Our Paras on this incredible challenge and help them raise vital funds. Due to COVID, this challenge is postponed to 21 – 25 June 2021, as September 2020 is looking tight under current advice.

Mount Toubkal (4167m) is the highest mountain in North Africa.  This incredible challenge will take you on a journey through the Toubkal valley, passing through terraced farmland and Berber villages, where you can immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings.  It will feel like stepping back hundreds of years and it is a wonderful escape from, and contrast to, the fast- paced lives we live in the UK.  At the summit, you will be rewarded with views in every direction, from the High Atlas peaks in the north and to the south, the Sahara, rolling far away to the heart of Africa.  On the final day, we will have time to explore Marrakech. This is a unique opportunity to share a fantastic experience with fellow supporters, while challenging yourself and raising all-important funds for the charity.

Bill Laurence, Ex Para Regt, will be leading the team on this challenge and Charlie Richards, ex-Army Officer, will be your dedicated Tribal Tracks advisor for the preparation of the trip ensuring that every single detail of the challenge runs smoothly, from start to finish. 

Toubkal Challenge highlights!

  • A personal challenge that will tick many bucket list boxes;
  • A five-day Mount Toubkal Challenge trip to Morocco beginning and ending in vibrant Marrakech;
  • Acclimatisation trek in the High Atlas, followed by the summit of Mount Toubkal at 4167m;
  • Stunning High Atlas Mountain surroundings with views of the Sahara from the top!
  • A final night celebration to salute the group’s impressive achievement;
  • Fully supported trek with mountain guides, cooks and a UK leader.

Group size and dates

The maximum group size is 18 people.  Due to the limited places, places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, we are expecting this to fill up quickly following the feedback from the Paras in the City lunch yesterday.  The deadline for bookings is 20 February 2020. 

For full details of the itinerary please follow this link Itinerary  and to book click here  Booking Form .  If you have any questions at all about the itinerary or online booking please email Charlie on charlotte@tribaltracks.co.uk.

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.

The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity