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.
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|
|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|