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Roll Call Major Tom Godwin, MBE {Godders} -

Tom Godwin enjoyed a long, almost unbroken service career with the Parachute Regiment, from enlistment in the 1950s, through to his eventual retirement in the early 1990s.

Thomas Godwin originally joined Airborne Forces through Direct Enlistment, and was part of 40 Platoon, at Depot in January 1955, completing his parachuting training on Parachute Course 395 at RAF Abingdon later that year.

Tom joined The 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA) as a Private soon afterwards and took part in two very active years, quickly gaining promotion to Corporal by late 1956. This included the deployments to Cyprus and Suez in 1956, before he decided to leave the Army in November 1957.

Two years as a Police Constable in the West Riding Constabulary followed, but he grew restless and decided to re-enlist, rejoining the Colours and returning to C Coy, 1 PARA in his old rank of Corporal in April 1959. Tom was promoted 1961, becoming Platoon Sergeant of D Coy 1 PARA and served on their deployment in Bahrain that year, before embarking on the first of many regimental transfers in 1962. He had been appointed as the Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI) with 12/13 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment at Brighouse and Leeds and would serve with them until 1964.

Sgt Godwin returned to 1 PARA in 1964 and over the following decade he took part in the Battalion deployments to Cyprus, a return to Bahrain, and Aden before a tour of Northern Ireland early in the troubles based at Palace Barracks. Tom continued his progression through the SNCO ranks, eventually becoming the 1 PARA Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS) in 1971. In recognition of his lengthy 1 PARA career, he was awarded the 1 PARA 'Tie of Merit' in 1973.

In 1974, was promoted to became a Warrant Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) to 4 PARA, and a further transfer to become RSM of 2 PARA followed in 1976. A year later, in 1977, he returned to Depot PARA as RSM before gaining his quartermasters commission from the ranks in 1978.

Tom's first appointment came with 1 PARA, before he joined 2nd Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment as Quartermaster (QM) in 1979, with whom he served until 1981.

Tom Godwin returned to the Parachute Regiment as QM of 2 PARA in 1981. During the following three years, he served in the Falklands and completed tours to Belize and US. In 1984, he was appointed QM for the All Arms School, Brecon, moving on to became a Major, Garrison QM in Berlin for the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in 1987. He remained in Berlin until 1990 - a momentous time in country which included participation in Operation Resettler, following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Major Godwin finally retired from the Army in 1990, leaving the service from Depot PARA in 1991, and was awarded the MBE in June that year.

Godders was also a very active sportsman during his service. Principally, he was a member of the 1 PARA Cricket Team for an almost unbroken period from 1955 into the 1970s. He was also part of the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Team (1961), the 1 PARA MELF Swimming Champions (Aden, 1966). He was also a skilled marksman and was awarded the 1 PARA Champion SMG shot in 1960, and the Individual Walther PPK Champion shot whilst with the 2nd Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment in 1981.

Profile under construction

by Major Tom Godwin

Decorations

1956 General Service Medal with Near East Clasp, Cyprus (EOKA Campaign)
Thumbnail image of United Nations Medal, Cyprus1964 United Nations Medal, Cyprus
1968 General Service Medal with South Arabia Clasp
Thumbnail image of General Service Medal Clasp (1962 onwards)1972 General Service Medal Clasp (1962 onwards), Northern Ireland (Operation Banner)
1974 Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Thumbnail image of South Atlantic Medal with Rosette1982 South Atlantic Medal with Rosette, Falklands (Operation Corporate)
Thumbnail image of MBE1991 MBE
Thumbnail image of Accumulated Service Medal1996 Accumulated Service Medal

Listed Operations

01/12/1955 – 01/12/1959 Cyprus (EOKA Campaign)
05/11/1956 – 11/11/1956 Suez (Operation Musketeer)
01/04/1982 – 14/06/1982 Falklands (Operation Corporate)
01/10/1969 – 01/07/2007 Northern Ireland (Operation Banner)
01/06/1961 – 31/12/1967 Persian Gulf
1967 – 01/11/1967 Aden

Airborne Forces service history

1955 Depot The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces, (Recruit)
1955 No 1 Parachute Training School RAF Abingdon, (Private)
1955-1956 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Private)
1956 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Lance Corporal)
1956-1957 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Corporal)
1959-1961 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Corporal)
1961-1962 Platoon Sergeant, The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Sergeant)
1962-1964 Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI), 12th/13th (Yorks and Lancs) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (TA), (Sergeant)
1964-1966 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Sergeant)
1966 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Colour Sergeant)
1966-1967 Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS), The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Colour Sergeant)
1967-1968 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Colour Sergeant)
1968-1970 Motor Transport Officer (MTO), The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Warrant Officer Class 2)
1971-1973 Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS), The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), (Warrant Officer Class 2)
1974-1976 Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), The 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA), (Warrant Officer Class 1)
1976-1977 Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), The 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), (Warrant Officer Class 1)
1977-1978 Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), Depot The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces, (Warrant Officer Class 1)
1978-1979 The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA)
1979-1981 Quartermaster (QM), 2nd Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment
1981-1984 Quartermaster (QM), The 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA)
1984-1987 Quartermaster (QM), All Arms School, Brecon
1987-1990 Quartermaster (QM), Berlin Garrison HQ, BAOR, (Major)
1990-1991 Depot The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces, (Major)