1st (Guards) Parachute Battalion

1st (Guards) Parachute Battalion

The Battalion formed in the summer of 1946. Its formation came after the War Office decided that in order to facilitate recruiting and administration, the nine battalions of the 6th British Airborne Division should become affiliated to the nine basic infantry groups in the country. This was how the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment became, until the disbandment of the division in 1948, the 1st (Guards) Parachute Battalion. The Airborne Division was in Palestine when the decision was made, and the newly appointed Battalion Commander arrived to take command at Sarona Camp in November 1946.

It took over a year before replacements from the Household Brigade had been trained in sufficient quantities to take the place of the original members of the Battalion. The organisation of the 1st (Guards) Parachute Battalion came at a time of increasing Jewish unrest. Three Grenadiers, already trained parachutists, Capt. Michael Jenkins, Lt. The Hon. Patrick Wills and C.S.M. Workman joined the Battalion soon after the Commanding Officer, much to his relief.

The Battalion has the distinction of escorting the High Commissioner out of Jerusalem to the airport on 14th May 1948. This was to mark the last day of the British Mandate in Palestine.

The Division was later disbanded in 1948.

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