Skip Navigation

Unit The 10th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (10 PARA)

The 10th Parachute Battalion (10th Para Bn)  was formed from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment at Kabrit in the Suez Canal zone in January 1943 under Lt Col KBI Smyth.

It fought briefly in Italy under command of the 4th Parachute Brigade before returning to the UK in preparation for D-Day. The battalion did not jump into Normandy and was held back over 15 cancelled operations until it was launched on Operation Market Garden in September 1944. The battalion jumped on the second lift near Arnhem under German fire on 18 September and was fought to virtual annihilation in the besieged Oosterbeek 1st Airborne Division perimeter. The last survivors got out across the Lower Rhine on 25 September. Captain Lionel Queripel with A Company was awarded a posthumous VC.

The under-strength battalion was disbanded in October 1944, with any remaining soldiers of 10th Para Bn sent to join the 2nd Parachute Battalion.

In 1947 it was re-formed as the 10th Parachute Battalion TA (County of London). It was re-designated as 10th Battalion (County of London), The Parachute Regiment (TA),10 PARA (TA) for short, in 1948.

By the end of 1948, the TA battalion had a strength of around 25 Officers (19 trained parachutists) and 114 Other Ranks (70 trained parachutists) and it took until spring 1951 to reach a strength of 300.

Accommodation for the new battalion was problematic. Initially all of its units, except for a fledgling No 2 Company (Coy) and Support Coy, paraded at Rochester Row Victoria. In 1949, 10th Battalion Headquarters moved to Support Coy's base at 84 Victoria Way, Charlton, allowing HQ Coy, 1 and 4 Coys room to expand at Rochester Row, where they remained until a move to White City in 1957.

The battalion relocated No 3 Coy to Ingatestone in 1949, where it remained for 10 years, and in 1951 opened a detachment at Dagenham. On 5 January 1953 it re-established No 2 Coy, which had previously only operated briefly for 18 months (1947-48) in Charlton, at Poplar Walk, Croydon; a presence it was to maintain until the battalion's disbandment.

Following further changes in the TA , it was renamed as 10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (V) ,10 PARA (V) for short,  in 1967.

The battalion extended its geographical presence in the 1970s and 80s and at its height  operated from the following locations: Chelsea (HQ Coy, 4 Coy & 5 Coy); White City (1 Coy); Croydon and Blackheath (2 Coy); Finchley (3 Coy); Aldershot (Support Coy); Portsmouth (Anti-Tank Platoon); and Leigh-on-Sea (Mortar Platoon).

In 1989 the battalion became part of the newly formed Parachute Regiment Group (PRG), an ad-hoc Regimental Headquarters grouping with the other two TA battalions which had a British Army Of the Rhine reinforcement role. The battalion also committed individual reinforcements to the three regular parachute battalions on operations in various parts of the world from Northern Ireland beginning in 1969 onwards. 

In the 1990s reductions in the battalion's size resulted in the disbandment of 1 Coy at White City, 5 Coy and later the Portsmouth and Leigh-on Sea detachments.

Eventually, following a Strategic Defence Review, 10 PARA was disbanded  in June 1999, with one company transferring to 4 PARA(V), the sole remaining TA PARA Battalion.

Commanding Officers:

10th Parachute Battalion

1943-4 Lt Col KBI Smyth OBE

Disbanded 1944 and reformed as

10th Parachute Battalion TA (County of London)

1947 Lt Col DML Gordon Watson OBE MC
1947 Lt Col RG Lewthwaite MC


10th Battalion (County of London), The Parachute Regiment (TA) 
1948-50 Lt Col RG Lewthwaite MC
1950-51 Lt Col HJ Mogg DSO
1951-53 Lt Col PHM May DSO MC
1953-56 Lt Col PHD Maud  MBE
1956-59 Lt Col EL Richards MBE MC
1959-62 Lt Col GCA Gilbert MC
1962-64 Lt Col EG Lee OBE TD
1964-67 Lt Col WJ Lloyd MC

10 PARA (V)
1967-69 Lt Col PMR Stewart-Richardson MBE
1969-72 Lt Col GO Mullins
1972 Lt Col J Christian TD
1972-75 Lt Col RJ Jenkins MBE
1975-77 Lt Col PM Kingston MC
1977-80 Lt Col JA Orr
1980-82 Lt Col FEW Martin
1982-85 Lt Col JQ Winter MVO
1985-87 Lt Col RC Patton
1987-90 Lt Col MA Davidson, MBE
1990-92 Lt Col P Neame
1992-95 Lt Col RJ Kershaw
1995-97 Lt Col AV Malkin
1997-99 Lt Col SJ Barry

Honorary Colonels 

1947-52 The Hon HKM Kindersley CBE MC
1952-60 General Sir Kenneth Crawford KBE MC
1960-65 General The Lord Bourne GCB KBE CMG ADC
1965- Lt Gen JW Hackett KCB CBE DSO MC

 

by Paradata Editor

Paradata Survey

Close