My involvement with 10 Para started when I was a 14 year old schoolboy in 1968. My schoolmaster was then 1st Lt Malcolm Brown who was then OC Anti-Tanks which in that year 1968 was based at White City.
The RSM was then Patch Williams. I remember guys like Colour Sgt Osbourne, Cpl Basmajin, Cpl Shaun Hackett, and of course Slim Kelly. I remember a helicopter exercise at Stanford chasing 21 SAS around. I also remember firing Anti-Tank weapons on Salisbury Plain. The 105 then before Wombat. I remember a ballooning weekend on Wormwood Scrubs...
I then met Malcolm Brown again in 1974 in a hanger in Hullavington when I was a 2 Para soldier, jumped on the fateful night drop on the Kiel Canal where the guys in 15 Para drowned. I was last man in the stick and just about managed to land in a field on the canal bank well short of the DZ.
In 1978 I joined 10 Para initially with 2 Company 6 Platoon at Blackheath which had just opened at Blackheath. I was then reunited with Malcolm Brown again this time he was Major Malcolm Brown OC Recruit Training Wing. Nicknamed (Peanuts as he could not stop eating them) I became an instructor there for three years. By now the RSM was George Collier who was my first platoon Sgt when I joined 2 Para.
The Battalion was spread out in as follows:
(Formed 1 April 1967, from 10th (County of London) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (TA).
1 Coy White City + MT
2 Coy Croydon and Blackheath
3 Coy Finchley
November 1971: Support Company formed at Aldershot with Mortar platoon at Leigh-on-Sea.
1 April 1978: '4' Company formed at Chelsea, London from Defence Platoon 44 Parachute Brigade.
HQ Coy Duke of York's Chelsea
Signals Duke of York's Chelsea
5 (HSF) Company formed in 1982
Detachment of Anti-Tank platoon formed at Portsmouth in May 1987:
2 Company formed detachment at St Mary's Cray (KENT) in October 1987:
1 April 1992: Battalion reorganised with three rifle companies and one support company.
1 Company at White City, London disbanded.
Support Group formed Aldershot by re-designation of Support Company.
1 April 1995: Anti-Tank platoon and Mortar platoon disbanded.
1 April 1997: Mortar platoon reformed at Aldershot.
1 July 1999: Battalion disbanded as result of the Strategic Defence Review. 'HQ' Company, '2' Company and Mortar platoon amalgamated as '10' (London) Company 4th Battalion.
Note on support platoons:
This Mortar platoon existed outside the Fire Support Battalions, and was reintroduced to have Parachute trained mortar support. Other support platoons (Recce, MMG and Assault Pioneer) were common for all battalions.
Training Wing in 1978-82 was technically based at the Duke of York's but we used to do 4 recruit selection courses per year. These were based at Finchley for three weekends and then on weekend 4 we moved to St Martins Plain Camp Folkestone where we did a full week training tactics and live firing with a battle march from Dungeness to Hythe ranges along the sea front through Dymchurch. The second week saw us doing a final exercise and then on the Friday we ran P Company at Aldershot, this consisted of Tranasium Assault Course Steeplechase, Log race, stretcher race and of course the milling.
We stated Cadres on week one with about 150 applicants by the time we got to the end we had about 25 to 35 passes with about 25 left for recourse or discharges. Many left before going on the two week camp. Our Sunday morning run at 7am down the North Circular Rd sorted a few out.
The standard was high for selection and we had many arguments who was to pass or fail at the end of course selection briefing.
Ex Sgt 10 Para Training Wing and 2 Para