216 Parachute Signal Squadron
Our History - Foreward   

There are a number of books covering the exploits of Airborne Signals. Louis Golden, for example, wrote 'Echoes from Arnhem' in response to criticism of The Corps' role in Operation MARKET GARDEN. Similarly, airborne signalling quite properly found a place in publications such as The Vital Link by Phillip Warner. However, the next 100 or so pages amount to the only comprehensive account written to date. For that we must thank its author, Major (later Colonel) Mike Ayrton. He wrote his account of the formation of 6th Field Force Headquarters & Signal Squadron - and its antecedents - whilst in command. His was no mean feat since - at the time - he was rapidly taking on the operational and administrative responsibilities that, to that point, had been largely the remit of a divisional signal regiment. The book covers the period from the formation of airborne signals through to the dissolution of the Parachute Signal Squadron as it was absorbed into the newly emerging 6th Field Force Headquarters and Signal Squadron. No attempt has been made to cover any aspects of airborne signalling beyond that point.    Mike Ayrton has kindly allowed us to use his book on our website. We are indebted to him for that and for the commitment that gave us this record of a part of our lives that took us beyond normal soldiering. Those who had the privilege of serving in the Squadron truly have experienced fun and comradeship in measure. Hopefully, you will find the time to read this excellent work; every one of us can relate to some (some, to all!) of the author's account of the formation of airborne divisional signals, the demise of the two short-lived major units and their transition to the Squadron that - with pride - we came to know simply as '216'.