20th Annual 3 Para Reunion – WO & Sgts Mess, Merville Barracks, Colchester
23 March 2013
For those that didn't attend but have read the comments on the website, you will see what a fantastic night you missed!
A somewhat disappointing (!) 110 paid to attend but unfortunately the atrocious weather up north even affected this and we ended up with just under 100 stalwarts! However, this included 12 of our ladies, who as usual looked lovely and greatly enhanced the evening. The CO, Mike Shervington and his wife, Liz, the Adjutant, Paul Billing and the RSM were our guests and I have received letters saying how much they enjoyed the evening. (Incidentally, several other members from all ranks of the battalion filled the absent places!) Unfortunately, our president could not attend because of illness and he rang me to say how disappointed he and Felicity were to have to miss it. However, General Sir Hew Pike graced us with his presence for the first time and he has also contacted me to say what a splendid evening it was! We were also very pleased to have the Regimental Adjutant, Paul Raison, in attendance.
The battalion did us proud, once again, but regrettably, the inclement weather meant that the outside displays had to be cancelled. There was another successful AGM, which led into the function proper, which was organised by the RSM, Steve Tidmarsh, ably assisted by his PMC and the Mess staff. The Mess itself and the layout were presented in style and we had a most enjoyable buffet. This time all the wine provided was consumed and the bar was still in full swing at well past 2 o’clock in the morning!
The committee and I would like to thank everyone for their compliments and support for this event. I would like to say on behalf of myself and the committee that, as usual, we are more than happy to work for the club as long as you continue to support it.
Next year's reunion is back in Blackpool but this time at the Imperial Hotel, which some of you may have heard gave the 2 Para a grand time. A proposal for this was unanimously carried at the AGM and a provisional booking has been made for the weekend 21-23 March - so start aiming off!
I repeat what I said last year - could all members please inform
the committee, as soon as possible, of any members that they
know who have died, so that we can take some appropriate action.
If time allows, we would hope to arrange representation at the
funeral, at least. We would also like to be kept informed of
any member who is seriously ill, so that we could possibly arrange
local visits from other members or organise assistance. The
same is true of those of us who may have fallen on hard times
and although the club does not have the funds to provide direct
financial support, we can make sure that they are receiving
all the aid that is available from the various agencies, who
have it within their remit to provide such.
1. If anyone is aware of any ex members of the Battalion who
have passed away during the last year could you please inform
me so I can take their name off the postal list.
This can be done by Email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
and by dropping me a line at 4 Lodge Road, Pudsey, Leeds, West
Yorkshire LS28 7LY. Tel No: 0113 2552569 (leave a message).
2. Change of address If anyone has changed their address please
inform me asap. Likewise if you have an Email Address please
put it on the Booking Performa or send me an Email with the
change of circumstances on it.
3. The jackets I produced with the 3 PARA Reunion Club logo
on are still out of stock at the present, and I have been looking
for a substitute the would be cheap but acceptable, hopefully
for sale at the next reunion function. I also still have a few
ties for sale, and am also looking to get a new better quality
embroidered tie but for sale for the same price as they are
* * *
June this year I was very honoured to attend the Falklands Islands
Liberation Day Parade in Stanley on the 14 June 2005. I was
invited to the Falklands by my son who was on a 9 month tour
of duty with the RE Maint Sqn based on the Airfield just above
Fitzroy Bay. What a different place the Island is today. It
is heartening to see the Islanders liberation day both at the
cathedral service and at the 1982 Memorial. Being the only Red
Beret on parade they all seemed to want to talk to me and shake
my hand just saying thank you for what you did for us they are
very, very proud of our Regiment and for the sacrifices for
those that did not return with us. I attended the parade and
was honoured to be with some of the islander’s that assisted
3 Para during the war. I stood next to and laid a wreath on
behalf of 3 Para Reunion Club at the 1982 Memorial also laying
a wreath on behalf of the Islanders, was Terry Peck, who was
a policeman in 1982 and acted as a guide to our patrol platoon.
A good number of these blokes are still in contact with Terry
whom he greatly appreciates: regretfully Terry has not been
in the best of health over the past few years but is well on
the way to recovery now after some treatment for PTSD. After
the parade we both attended a reception at the new BDF Barracks
in Stanley and it was great to meet up with our porridge lady
Mandy McLoud, after 23 years it was a bit emotional to meet
people you knew then.
in 82, me and my lads from the Anti Tank Pl att A Coy, were
dug in on the airstrip above the settlement at Port San Carlos,
Mandy would appear at first light each morning without fail
with a large container full of piping hot porridge for the blokes,
she would also bring us news from the BBC world service. Mandy
from my heart and all those that came into contact with you,
our heartfelt thanks and god bless you……. for your
the 15th June I returned to Mount Longdon and traced my steps
from the start line up and over Longdon and into Stanley via
Moody Brook there is still and old 105 recoilless gun on the
eastern slope of Longdon which I am sure gave B Coy trouble
on the night of 11/12. On my visit to Longdon, I was accompanied
by the Base Padre, my son and his Sqn 2 I/C a Para trained RLC
Officer. We were also met on top by Tony & Ailsa from Estancia
Farm. Tony & Ailsa had towed Milan & Mortar Ammo for
SP Coy, to the fire support base and the mortar line prior to
the attack on Longdon. Their farm at Estancia was used by Bn
HQ for ‘O’ Gps and housed the RAP, the farm is a
museum to 3 Para and the guest books at Estancia has some great
old names and comments. On Longdon the Padre performed a short
service for us and we spend some time in reflection for those
member of 3 Para who had lost their lives in the Battle for
Mound London on the night of 11/12 June 1982. those gathered
on London, lay British Legion crosses as an act of remembrance
for those members of the Battalion we lost in battle………..
the service I followed the route I had taken from Mount Longdon
down through Moody Brook (there is nothing there now), and into
Stanley. My visit to Longdon brought back many memories, I was
glad after all the years that had passed, that I was able and
fortunate enough to return and see Mount Longdon and the Island
in the bright light of day. On the evening 15th June I was invited
to the Governor’s Reception and was taken for a tour of
the governors residence, I also went for a walk to find the
house Sp Coy had gone firm at and had regrouped after entering
Stanley, which was on the road just above Government House.
Finally on the 16th June I was invited (as this way my birthday)
to dine with Trudy and Charles McPhee out at Brookfield Farm
just above Estancia. Trudy had assisted our medics during the
battle for Longdon, transporting our casualties away from the
Bn RAP to the casevac area and Heli LZ. The risks these people
took are unbelievable and they should all be commended for their
actions. Hero’s all of them. Once again sincere thanks
were passed to all of them, from me on behalf of the 3 Para
Reunion Club. Trudy, Ailsa, Mandy, Tony, Charles and Terry thanks
again for making my visit a memorable one.
photographs of my visit please visit the Gallery