216 Parachute Signal Squadron
Our History - Preface   

'People who take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants '.
Lord Macaulay (1800 - 1859)

The history of the antecedents of 6th Field Force Headquarters and Signal Squadron is inextricably linked with that of airborne forces and, in particular, with that of airborne formation headquarters. It was no mere accident therefore that HQ 16th Parachute Brigade and 216 Parachute Signal Squadron should, as part of the Army Restructuring Plan, combine and become one fully integrated unit.

In this account of the Unit's formation in 1977 and of its antecedents, I have traced only the Signals parentage from 1941 to the present. It has not been my intention to compile a comprehensive history of Airborne Signals. For example, I have made no mention of Airborne Army, Airborne Corps or Indian Airborne Signals. I have, however, described in outline the major operations, operational tours and geographical moves which have affected those units from whom we can claim to be descended. I am only too aware of the many omissions in this chronology. Nevertheless, I hope I have given sufficient detail to illustrate the eventful past of our predecessors and possibly to provide a framework for someone with more time to use as a basis for a full account.

Airborne Signals have a comparatively short history and one complicated by numerous wartime regroupings and post-war re-designations. It is, however, a history that throughout reflects a true spirit of comradeship and a fine tradition of duty. The reorganisation that took place in 1977, as I have illustrated, is not the first time that the Unit has changed its title or role. I suspect the future will hold similar changes but the traditions and spirit of our predecessors are the legacy on which this Squadron is built.


Aldershot. 10 January 1980.