[ Sgt Michael Willetts & Sgt Walter Beard ]

4th Bn Parachute Regiment (4 Para)

Facebook group

Desert Rise Arnhem Descent

[ Cap Badge ]

[ 2 Para ]

[ 2 Para ]

[ 3 Para ]

[ 4 Para ]

For members and ex-members of ALL RANKS of the battalion there has been formed a 4Para Club. It meets annually and has done so, so far in Manchester and Blackpool. This year it is the turn of Liverpool and a lunch is to be held 0n Saturday 28th March followed by a stroll around town taking in as many watering holes as you can pace yourself for. We do have a few members of the club in Liverpool but, of course, they are always looking for more ... If you are interested then please feel free to contact Frank Boyle, Bruce Cargill, Kevin Swarze or Mike Connell

The 4th Parachute Battalion was formed in January 1942 under Lt Col Hope-Thompson and was recruited from volunteers army-wide. Originally part of the 1st Parachute Brigade, it formed the nucleus for the 2nd Parachute Brigade, the last battalion to be recruited solely from volunteers.

Insufficient volunteers were successfully qualifying for parachute training so it was decided future units would be formed by converting existing infantry battalions to the role.
The Battalion fought in North Africa and Italy between 1942-3. It then formed part of the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade, which remained in Italy after the 1st Airborne Division returned to the UK in November 1943 to prepare for the invasion of Europe.

The 4th Battalion parachuted into Southern France in August 1944 as part of Operation DRAGOON and again moved with the Brigade to Athens Greece for internal security duties following the German withdrawal in the winter of 1944-5. The Battalion served with the 3rd Parachute Brigade in Palestine between 1945-7, where it amalgamated with the 6th Parachute Battalion becoming the 4/6th Parachute Battalion. This was re-designated 1 PARA in 1948.

A new 4th Volunteer Battalion The Parachute Regiment was created in April 1967, emerging from a combination of the 12/13th and 17th TA (Territorial Army) Parachute Battalions.

In 1989 the Battalion formed part of a new trial formation called the Parachute Regiment Group (PRG), which alongside 10 PARA (V) and 15 PARA (SV) had a BAOR NATO reinforcement role. Further amalgamations occurred in April 1993 when 15 PARA (SV) was subsumed by 4 PARA (V) and also 10 PARA (V) in June 1999. Both disbanded battalions retain representative companies within; The present 4 PARA, which is the sole remaining TA Parachute Battalion ... Rapid reaction reservists go into action, Black Jaguar is a no-nonsense training exercise run by Leeds based 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA), the Para’s Army Reserve battalion.

To join 4 PARA (Reserves), you need to be aged between 18-34 (increased to 44yrs if you have had previous relevant experience) and be a UK resident. The minimum commitment is 9 weekends, 2 weeks Annual camp and a few weekday evenings. There are excellent rates of pay, which is non taxable if you are a student, and an annual 'tax free' bounty (subject to qualification) of up to 1,700. Your employer may also give you Special Leave over and above your annual entitlement as many companies value the Reserve Force as part of employee development. When you contact us, you will be invited along to your local unit for an informal meeting. When you decide to join we will complete the initial forms with you and set a date for a medical examination. Once your application has been accepted we will invite you back to be sworn in as a member of the Reserve Force. You will than start your basic training on the next available cadre with our Recruit Training Team. This is where the hard work begins, to earn your coveted "Red Beret".

'A' Company |||'B' Company |||'C' Company |||'HQ' Company |||'Recruit' Company

4 PARA is a Battalion which has units across the United Kingdom. 4 PARA is an amalgamation of 4th, 10th and 15 PARA. A Company is located in Scotland, with detachments in Edinburgh and Glasgow, B Company is in London, located at Croydon, White City and Romford and C Company are in the North of England, with detachments located at Leeds (Pudsey, where Battalion Headquarters is situated), Liverpool (St Helens) and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Hebburn). The Battalion is thriving, and it has recently stood up a new Company (D Company), which is based in the midlands, at Rugby and Nottingham.

4 PARA remains operationally focused and trains to prepare its soldiers to reinforce the regular Battalions of 16 Air Assault Brigade (2 / 3 PARA) on operations. Recently 4 PARA (V) has provided individual reinforcements to regular Battalions serving on operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. A percentage of the Battalion remains on High Readiness Reserve (HRR), ready to support the regular Battalions at short notice.

4 PARA is currently preparing to deploy on FIRIC (Falkland Islands Reinforcement Infantry Company, (read more)) as the lead unit, where it will serve in a defensive role in the Falkland Islands. This will be the first time a Reserve Battalion has taken on this role. Whilst deployed, the Battalion will carry out patrols of the remote regions of the islands and undergo live firing exercises on the many vast ranges the Falkland Islands offer. On exercise with Tom Emsley, Plumber to Paratrooper: Exercise Askari Storm Private Tom Emsley, a plumber from Leeds, has become one of a select number of British Army Reservists to become part of one of the country's elite Reaction Forces. Tom, 21, is currently undergoing enhanced parachute training in Kenya with 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment on Exercise Askari Storm in preparation for his latest role in 4 PARA.

Webmasters Note ...
In very short order we could reinforce the Falkland Islands with a serious force, on top the very serious force that already exists ... read more

Commanding Officers:

4th Parachute Battalion

1942 Lt Col MR Hope-Thompson
1942-3 Lt Col JA Dene
1943-4 Lt Col HB Coxen, DSO
1944-5 Lt Col De V. Martin
1945-6 Lt Col GP Rickord, DSO
1946 Lt Col PHC Hayward
1946-7 Lt Col HB Coxen, DSO

4th (Volunteer) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA (V))

1967-8 Lt Col KC Came, OBE
1968-70 Lt Col DW Callaghan
1970-3 Lt Col LP Weeks
1973-5 Lt Col JA Rymer-Jones
1975-7 Lt Col LJH Kent
1977-80 Lt Col PM Beaumont, MBE
1980-2 Lt Col EC Loden, MC
1982-5 Lt Col JA MacGregor, MC
1985-7 Lt Col AH Clark
1987-90 Lt Col BK Martin, OBE
1990-2 Lt Col AWG Snook OBE
1992-95 Lt Col JC Gallagher
1995-98 Lt Col DC Parkinson
1998-00 Lt Col HM Fletcher
2000-2 Lt Col JD Handford
2002-5 Lt Col GS Orpen-Smellie
2005-8 Lt Col BL Baldwin
2008-10 Lt Col AMC Rogers
2010- Lt Col John Boyd
5- Lt Col Giles Timms
2016- Lt Col Jamie Loudon

Read more from "ParaData"

[ Back to the Para's home page ]