70th Anniversary commemorations of Operation Market Garden

April 9th, 2014

arnhem70thThe Chairman of the Arnhem Veterans Club (1944), Colonel John Waddy OBE, and the Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment, Lieutenant General Jacko Page CB OBE who represents the present day Airborne Forces invite all those who served in the British 1st Airborne Division during OPERATION MARKET GARDEN to attend the events to mark the 70th anniversary.  All are welcome.

WWII-DDay-ParachuteAssault-01The aim of the events marking the 70th Anniversary is to ensure that a grateful nation’s thanks are passed to those who took part in this action.

It is important that the focus should be on the surviving veterans, as they commemorate their fallen comrades whose sacrifice helped to bring about the liberation of The Netherlands and shorten the war in Europe.  

As this year’s commemoration will be well attended, the organiser’s of various events wish to provide reserved areas for veterans at major events to provide some level of comfort and security.  These arrangements will include veteran marquees at Ginkel Heath and at OosterbeekCemetery to provide refreshments, seats and shelter.  In order to facilitate this, if you are intending to travel to Arnhem this year it would be very helpful if you would let the AVC and RHQ PARA know by registering your intention to travel with us.

Those veterans planning to attend this year’s commemoration are asked to register their names with RHQ PARA by completing this proforma.  The proforma asks you to provide your Name, Rank Number and Unit with 1st Airborne Division, including those who served with the Air Landing Brigade and all Divisional attached troops, and also to provide your AVC membership number if applicable. This is the same form which is used when applying for the travel subsidy, but if applying for the subsidy it should be accompanied by your travel documentation.

The Commemoration takes place over the weekend 19 – 21 Sep 2014 with the following events located in the Arnhem, Renkum, Oosterbeek and Overbertuwe area.  The official programme is yet to be finalised, but is likely to proceed along the traditional lines as below:

19 Sep 14 – Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Bridge followed by the veterans silent March Past and a concert given by the people of Arnhem at the John Frost Bridge.

20 Sep 2014 – Parachuting and Memorial Service at Ginkel Heath in the morning and a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Polish Memorial at Driel during the afternoon.

21 Sep 2014 – Memorial Service at Oosterbeek in the morning followed by a Concert at ‘The Needle’ Oosterbeek in the afternoon and finally the Air Dispatch Memorial Service.Arnhem2

Please make your own travel and accommodation arrangements.  Many will have travel and accommodation reservations already in place, however if not Tours International who still have some vacancies can be can be contacted at resv@tours-international.com or by phone at 01892 515825.

As a reminder, the following financial assistance is available to veterans wishing to attend this commemoration:

a.  The Airborne Forces Security fund through AVC will reimburse valid travel costs of £250 each for the veteran, his or her partner and his or her carer if one is required.  To get this subsidy please complete this form and forward a copy of your travel documentation as directed on the proforma

b.  Money is additionally available through Heroes Return, a lottery funded charity which supports veterans returning to commemorative events.  You will need to apply separately for the grant as directed at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_heroes_return.

The focus of the commemorations is on the fallen and the surviving veterans so please register your intention to travel to Arnhem as soon as possible so that RHQ can provide as much support as possible to make this occasion a success.Arnhem-Bridge-After-Battle


April 7th, 2014

This is a spectacular event in support of the Parachute Regiment. Tickets are now on sale for a fantastic Airshow event to support our Paras.

The Red Devils , an Air show with aerobatics, Spitfire, Aston Martins, Military Band and WWII era military vehicles and so much more

Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury on Sunday May 11 9.30am-5.00pm. For Information and tickets visit www.sopara.co.uk

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March 31st, 2014

Gregor Armstrong aged just 14 completed a 160ft bungee jump on Sunday 30 March 2014. Gregor’s cousin Pte Kyle Adams is a fallen Para, and Kyle is the reason Gregor was inspired to do this amazing challenge. Kyles mother and father travelled from South Wales to see Gregory make this awesome leap to support our Paras.

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A big thank you to The Central Scotland Branch PRA who showed up to display their appreciation to Gregor, and also to their Vice Chairman Frank Cameron who presented him with his “WINGS” (the small Blue Parachute Lapel) which was truly well deserved!

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Gregor had hoped to raise £500 for the Afghanistan Trust, and o date he has raised £691.10. If you would like to support Gregor you can still do so at: http://www.justgiving.com/Gregor-Armstrong2014         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_DUck1tTk4&feature=youtube_gdata
 Before                                                                                                                                                      After

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Gregor – you are a very brave young man! Well done! Thanks to you and all who have supported you.

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Gregor his family, Pte Kyle Adams Parents John & Moira, members of the PRA and some of Gregor’s supporters.

This was truly an Airborne event well done to you all!


March 5th, 2014

Please see the flyer for this year’s Summer Ball.  This year will be the last Summer Ball in aid of The Afghanistan Trust.  Our aim is to make this year’s Ball the best ever, to celebrate all the achievements you have helped us achieve. 2014 flyer

There will be a champagne reception, an array of displays, a 3-course meal, guest speakers and an unmissable auction with money-can’t-buy prizes.

In addition to all of the above, we have secured the attendance of the Parachute Regiments Band and hope to add a few more surprises for your entertainment.

Please come and join our celebration and book early to secure your table (each table of 10 – £1950).

The celebrations start at 6:30pm, and will go on until 1am.

For further information contact Colin Smith (ceo@afghanistantrust.org) or call 01206 817074


February 12th, 2014

N0671951317325325971A Tony and Sandy Lewis formed the 353 Charity http://353.org.uk  after their son Conrad was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. Their aim is to raise funds for soldiers who need assistance after serving in Afghanistan.  Conrad was serving with 3 Para when he was killed in action. 353 have always supported The Afghanistan Trust and this support continued at Saturdays 353 Ball by the presentation of a cheque for £20,353.00 to The Afghanistan Trust.

There were 300 people in attendance at the Ball and all were very enthusiastic in raising funds for the 353 charity.  An array of auction items including Monty Python at the O2 (18 seats donated by NISSAN), a Wildlife Expedition Training Weekend for 2 with Monty Halls, 6 Nations Tickets Weekend to see England v Ireland including accommodation, 2 Full Season Tickets to British Super Bikes and many more.  All auctions items drew a great response and I’m sue raised a lot of funds for 353. A silent auction was also available and ran throughout the evening and was busy until the end of the evening.

Everyone attending the Ball received a copy of a CD Soldier On, the Big Secret Sound, produced to honour all those who lost their lives in The Afghanistan conflict and to raise funds.  353 hope that enough people will download this single from iTunes by 15 Feb to help it reach the Top 40, the cost is only £1.29.

It was then time to hit the Dance floor and the music played by two live bands was excellent. It was hard to find a space on the dance floor as all in attendance got into the spirit of the evening dancing late into the night. It was clear to see that everyone had a great time and at the same time were very generous.

The 353 Ball was a great success and our thanks go to Tony and Sandy who do so much for The Afghanistan Trust and other charities.





January 21st, 2014

WP_20140116_004The Colchester Garrison Saddle Club is entering a team in Tough Mudder 2014 to raise money for the Afghanistan Trust, a charity that I personally believe in.

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, determination, and camaraderie. Only 78% of entrants successfully complete each challenge.

It all started when I, the Pony Major, Pte Adam Martin, was challenged by one of the liveries to beat him in the Tough Mudder. After a lot of banter we decided to put together a team knowing not only will it improve personal fitness, but to feel a true sense of accomplishment whilst working towards a worthwhile goal of raising money for a very deserving cause.

The Team consists of liveries, staff and friends of the Garrison Saddle Club, namely Edwina Logan, Sophie Goldsmith, Ben Morgan, Holly Read, Grant Pockinhorne and myself, Pte Adam Martin.

Tough Mudder takes place on 27 April 2014 and we need your assistance to raise as much money as possible for a charity that helps to better the lives of our Paratroopers and Afghan heroes. Please sponsor us as much as you can.

My Just giving page can be found at the following link: uses


Thank you all for this outstanding effort you are making to support our wounded and their families – Airborne – comes to mind.



January 21st, 2014

imagingGary Sullivan an ex Para has completed the  London Marathon for the first time at 54 years of age.  Gary said he has been, cajoled and possibly bullied into doing this but I know that he is only too pleased to be able to raise funds for the Afghanistan Trust. Gary and Wilson James LTD have been great supporters since the conception of the Afghanistan Trust, this time he has set himself an awesome challenge.  We all know when you do you first Marathon you can’t wait to do the next one, so watch this space. To date Gary has raised funds in excess of £5000 in Aid of our wounded Paratroopers and their families. CHECK OUT GARY’S Just giving below. ” JOB DONE” & Thanks

Please cheer Gary on by helping him raise as much as possible for the Afghanistan Trust at



January 21st, 2014

Indegogo have had an incredible five days of crowd funding and they were extremely pleased to have smashed their target at 11:38 this morning.
To build on this success and amazing generosity of the public, they’ve been invited by the team at Indiegogo to extend their crowd funding campaign. Now that the word is spreading more and more widely about Kajaki, they have decided to take Indiegogo up on their offer and extend until the end of this week. It would make a huge difference to the film if they could raise another £5,000 or even £10,000 so please continue with all your efforts and spread the word even further.


You now have until the end of FRIDAY 25th January to contribute.



Due to popular demand, they have released another 25 pairs of tickets to the gala screening and after party so this perk is no longer sold out. Don’t miss out on your last chance to get your hands on these tickets!
Plus they have added a new perk bundle offer. You can choose three perks out of the following for £95.00: DVD, Poster, Polo shirt, Music Download, Enamel badge. There are only 50 of these great value bundles available.


Spread the word… tell everyone you know… This is a story that must be told and a film that must be made.






January 7th, 2014


A London production company is raising funds for the first feature film about a British conflict since WW2.



This incredible true story tells it exactly as it unfolded seven years ago.

The Kajaki Dam, Helmand Province. A foreign land as beautiful as it is deadly, where lives are lost and heroes born. A company of young British soldiers – the lads next door, encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg – or your life.

Kajaki is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that puts the audience where we’ve put our fighting men and women for the past twelve years: face to face with deadly peril, in the company of their friends.

No film until now has told it the way it is. This is their story. A story that must be told.

Pukka Films is currently in development on the first film about the British Army in Afghanistan. When they announced the project in the summer and began to build up their Facebook community, they were inundated with offers to help – people wanting to know what they could do to get this film made – from offers of training the actors, being extras, teaching us how to look the part and wanting to know how they could support the project financially.

With such a groundswell of support, they realised that they could use a platform like Indiegogo to build their fan base and engage directly with them.


To add to the appeal, the producers will match every pound raised through this crowd funding with a pound from the film’s income and give this to military charities. The Kajaki Movie charity partners are Help for Heroes, The Afghan Trust, The Mark Wright Project, The Royal British Legion and Walking with the Wounded.

Byrn Parry, Co-Founder, Help for Heroes commented: “I know young men and women for whom the war will be over, but they’ll be fighting their battles for the rest of their lives, and Help for Heroes has got to be there for them. We’ve got to be more proactive. We’ve got to have a supportive media and we’ve got to have films like Kajaki.”

 Andrew Cook, Walking With The Wounded’s director of fundraising, said: “For so many leaving our armed forces with an injury, the future can be uncertain. Our ability to fund raise ensures we can finance new qualifications, enabling the blind, the burn victims, the mentally injured, the amputees and all the other wounded to rebuild their lives and return to the work place and in so doing provide long-term security for themselves and their families. We are grateful and proud to be associated with Kajaki and applaud the team for their hard work and efforts to support the service charity community.”

Colin Smith, CEO the Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust commented:  “We as a Regiment have had many soldiers wounded, maimed or killed during this conflict and in turn this has affected so many families. These issues do not go away and at times can even get worse; this is why we need to ensure that we leave a legacy to ensure the Regimental family is supported when needed from now and until the foreseeable future.  We must continue to raise funds to ensure that this support is at hand irrespective of the injuries received. The making of this film tells the story of many brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice as so many more have done”.


The closing date for Indiegogo contributions is 20th January 2014.

In addition to crowd funding the producers are seeking private investment through an EIS Scheme. Total budget for the movie is £1.2 million. You can follow Kajaki Movie on twitter like them on facebook and find out more on the website.

Recent press coverage includes the Daily Mail, Sunday Times and BFBS TV News & Radio.


Media Enquiries:

Lucy Trendle Campaign Producer

Pukka Films

Tel: 020 7866 0000 / 07736 829990

Email: lucy@kajakimovie.com


About the film-makers:

Paul Katis (Director) and Tom Williams (Writer) have been making low budget films with big ambition for ten years. They share an interest in genre-based storytelling that can bring insightful and rewarding stories to a wider audience.

Paul is an extremely versatile award-winning director with extensive experience of a wide range of genres. As well as short films, he has worked in TV & Commercial Film production for over fifteen years and in that time has amassed a wealth of credits and experience.

Tom’s first produced script was the 2011 romantic comedy CHALET GIRL, directed by Phil Traill and starring Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields and Bill Bailey. As well as KAJAKI, Tom is currently working on an action film for TV star Bear Grylls, a BASE jumping thriller, a big budget romantic comedy and a sitcom.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin is the film’s Executive Producer. Gareth is an Oscar and BAFTA winning producer who brings many years of experience producing award winning films, including the critically-acclaimed THE KINGS SPEECH, winner of seven BAFTAs and four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Gareth has worked closely with both Tom and Paul previously and adds real weight to the production of this important and ambitious film.


About Indiegogo:

Indiegogo is the original and largest global crowdfunding platform, where funders receive perks in return for donations. San Fransciso based company Indiegogo was launched in January 2008 by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell. Accordng to their site, Indiegogo is the crowdfunding solution that empowers ideas and enables people to donate funds easily.



January 3rd, 2014

Assist wounded Paras and families of those killed in action without costing you a single penny!


The Afghan Trust exists to support wounded Paras and families of those killed during the Parachute Regiment’s tours of duty in Afghanistan.
For those we assist we provide precious support, but to do this we rely on raising money. If you shop online, then you will be able to raise valuable funds for The Afghan Trust without it costing you a single penny extra than your normal purchase.


Simply follow the 6 easy steps to start raising money straight away!


1. Log on to the website – www.easyfundraising.org.uk
2. Go to ‘I want to support a good cause’
3. Type in The Afghanistan Trust. You will see a photo of our logo on our page.
4. Click on ‘Support’. This will take less than a minute to do!
5. Bookmark this webpage. Now, whenever you buy things online, visit The Afghan Trust Easyfundraising page and find the store you require in the A-Z menu on the ‘Retailers’ menu, click on the link and make your purchase as normal.
6. Never miss an opportunity! So that you don’t need to remember all 2,000 retailers, you can download a ‘Find and Remind’ tool (found in the ‘Raise more’ menu). This will automatically alert you when a donation is available from a retailer.


REMEMBER – your purchases won’t cost you a single penny extra, but a donation will be made to The Afghan Trust.
If you are having trouble registering, please call Martin on 07887721008


As well as raising money through online purchases, you can also raise around £20 per year (based on 10 web search per day) by doing web searches using easysearch instead of Google. To access our easysearch page click on the link http://afghanistantrust.easysearch.org.uk/


There are thousands of retailers signed up to EasyFundraising – so whether buying books at Amazon, hardware from B&Q or train tickets from The Trainline, you can play a huge part in supporting The Afghan Trust.
The website also includes special offers, so you can save money for yourself too!





“In the last year I have raised around £100 just by booking hotel rooms!”

“By renewing my car insurance, I raised a one-off £20 donation!”

“This year I have raised over £150 for my charity. It’s so easy to do!”

Copyright © 2012 The Afghanistan Trust. Registered Charity Number 1121647. The Parachute Regiment, Merville Barracks, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7UT