Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race

Hamish and HenryUPDATE:  We want to say a HUGE thank you to Hamish Lorimer and Henry Anthony who have raised over £2,000 for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

Despite suffering from hypothermia, a broken seat, illness and lots of aches and pains, they battled on to complete the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race in a time of 21hours 40minutes.  This placed them 24th out of 80 in their Junior Doubles category.

Hamish and Henry Canoe FuryThey were also the fastest team that was entered from their school, which is a brilliant achievement considering they were a novice crew racing against many schools and clubs who do it as their full time sport.  An impressive run and a great effort from these two 17 year olds.



This Easter, Hamish Lorimer and Henry Anthony will be taking part in the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race (DWICR) to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS. The DWICR is over four days and starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge in Central London, opposite the Houses of Parliament.  This race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948.

Hamish and Henry CanoeThe race is 125 miles long and has 77 portages. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.

The two 17 year olds will start the race on 3rd April, paddling about 35 miles for each of the first 3 days and camping overnight.  Then, with just 17 miles left, they plan on leaving in the early hours of 6th April to reach Westminster for breakfast.

The race is a severe test of skill, stamina and planning and Hamish and Henry have been training hard.  We wish these two aspiring Paratroopers all the very best, and extend our thanks for choosing to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

If you would like to show your support, you can visit Hamish and Henry’s fundraising page at

3 PARA Boxing Team

3 PARA vs 82nd Airborne Boxing Night


The 3 PARA boxing team are currently in North Carolina preparing to take on the United States’ 82nd Airborne Division in the boxing ring.

The event will take place at the end of the CJOAX and will mark the end of the exercise and the ongoing joint operability between the 82nd Airborne and 16 Air Assault Brigade.

The 3 PARA team is preparing to preserve their undefeated title in front of 3,500 spectators at Fort Bragg on Wednesday 22 April 2015 and will be shown on Forces TV from midnight.

Tune in to Sky Channel 264, Virgin Channel 244 or Freesat Channel 652 to catch a piece of the action.


CO 3 PARA intends to have the Battalion Boxing Team box a Team from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 22 Apr 15.

The event will take place at the end of the CJOAX and will mark the end of the exercise and the ongoing joint operability between the 82nd Airborne and ourselves; more importantly it will be used to commemorate the end of our operations in Afghanistan.

The event has been talked about and indeed planned previously but we are now confirming that it will take place and the 82nd Airborne are enthusiastic about the importance of this event. We have managed to get Sgt Jackson who was wounded in action out to visit this event courtesy of SUPPORT OUR PARAS and would look to raise the profile of the charity through this event.

It is appreciated that getting to this event will be very difficult, not only by the geography, but in getting onto the base at Fort Bragg.  However, if there are people who wish to donate and attend, then we may be able to get them onto the base. Clearly the cost of travel and accommodation would be down to the individual.

This Boxing Event is a significant milestone which marks the end of one era of operations and looks forward to the next chapter in our ‘special relationship’ with the 82nd Airborne Division. To end the CJOAX with this boxing match will be the culmination of over 12 months of joint inter-operability focus which paves the way for interoperability in the future. We have history behind us and a superb way forward with the US Army.

This event will be an excellent opportunity to recognise those who have sacrificed so much and to ensure they feel valued as part of our Battalion and indeed the Regiment. Your support in raising funds for SUPPORT OUR PARAS is greatly appreciated.

Requests to attend should be sent to Major Des Hendry on

John McDonald Supports Our Paras

John McDonaldJohn McDonald is a former member of the Parachute Regiment and has worked tirelessly to support our Regiment’s charities.

John is currently a Master of Ceremonies for Sky Sports and has often secured the support of Sky darts players and boxers to help raise funds to support our Paras.

This time, John has come up with the fantastic idea to have a pair of boxing gloves on the set of Sky’s show Ringside for a year.  Throughout the year, boxers and other sports personalities who appear as guests on the show will be asked to sign the gloves and show their support for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.  These gloves will be one of a kind and an extremely unique item that will be auctioned off at the end of the year.

We will keep you updated with the names of those who have signed the gloves so far.

PARA Platoon Documentary Shortlisted For Award

In 2014, Forces TV filmed a series entitled ‘PARA Platoon: Earning the Maroon Beret’ which gave people the chance to have a look at what it takes to become a Paratrooper by following recruits through training.

The series, which was filmed at PARA Coy based at Catterick Garrison, has been short listed for the “Best Documentary” award in this year’s EVCOM Screen Awards.  The EVCOM Screen Awards are recognised as the premier mark of excellence for effective business, television, film, video and digital media.  Winning an EVCOM Screen Award brings with it national and international recognition and there is no higher accolade for creativity, originality, production expertise and sheer effectiveness in communication.

The winner’s will be announced at a dinner on 27th March but in the meantime, if you missed it the first time round, check out PARA Platoon here.

Victoria Cross Winner

From Lieutenant General John Lorimer DSO MBE, Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment.

Lance Corporal Josh Leakey, who has been awarded the Victoria Cross for valour on the battlefield in southern Afghanistan, typifies the spirit and ethos of The Parachute Regiment. On the 22nd August 2013, Lance Corporal Leakey deployed as part of a mission into a Taliban stronghold, to disrupt a key insurgent group. Displaying inspirational leadership, well above that expected of his rank, Lance Corporal Leakey’s actions single-handedly regained the initiative and prevented considerable loss of life.

VC winner LCpl J Leakey
Lance Corporal Leakey

His exemplary conduct in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire epitomises The Parachute Regiment’s watchwords of professionalism, discipline, courage and self-reliance. He is the recipient of the Nation’s highest honour that a soldier can receive and all ranks of The Parachute Regiment and the wider Airborne Forces family are exceptionally proud of him.

On their behalf and as Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Lance Corporal Leakey on this singular and most deserved award.

Lance Corporal Leakey’s valour serves to remind us of the words of Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in his tribute to British paratroopers after the Second World War:

‘They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack. They are, in fact, men apart – every man an Emperor’.

‘Utrinque Paratus – Ready for Anything’.

Read the letter from the Colonel Commandant. Read the Citation from the London Gazette

Letter from Col CmdtVictoria Cross medal

The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity