The 10th Battalion was founded at Kabrit in December 1942, and was commanded by Lt-Colonel Smyth. At its core were 200 volunteers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment, formerly of an infantry brigade from the same Regiment that had been disbanded after suffering heavy losses at El Alamein as part of Montgomery's 8th Army. The remainder of the 10th Battalion's strength was drawn from the Infantry Base Depot at Geneifa; most of whom had recently recovered from light wounds they had received while serving in Africa. However the battalion went to lengths to maintain the Royal Sussex character that it would carry throughout the war, luring such officers from distant areas around the Mediterranean, including Tunisia and Malta.

 

After the 4th Para Brigade had been transferred to the 1st Airborne Division, the 10th Battalion played a leading role in their operations in Italy (see 4th Para Brigade). Withdrawn to England in November 1943, the Battalion was stationed in Rutland and in the village of Somerby. The latter of those places was also host to a Land Army hostel for girls from Nottingham and Leicester, and needless to say a number of betrothals ensued.

 

The 10th Battalion was disbanded in November 1945, but was reformed in 1947 as the 10th (City of London) Parachute Battalion (Territorial Army). Redesignated 10 PARA (Volunteer) in 1967, the battalion existed until it was disbanded in 1999.

 

Commander of the 10th Parachute Battalion

 

1942-1944

Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth B. I. Smyth