A British Paratrooper Serving In Palestine In 1945
Richard Neale grew up in Bushey, Hertfordshire, northwest of London. He was born in 1924, and had three older brothers who were killed during the First World War. He was 15 years old when the Second World War started, and he took a job in an iron foundry. During the war, his brother-in-law was evacuated from Dunkirk, his brother fought in North Africa and Italy with the Royal Artillery in the 8th Army, and a brother-in-law served in the Coldstream Guards. In 1944, Richard joined the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment before volunteering for the Parachute Regiment to double his wages. Eventually, he served in Palestine with the 4th Battalion of the 1st Parachute Regiment. After leaving the Army, he got married, began working in construction, and moved to Australia. He returned to England in 1991. Now, he belongs to the British Parachute Regiment alumni organization.
In this interview, he talks about his childhood, and his memories of aircraft in combat over England during the Battle of Britain. He describes his training for the Parachute Regiment, including jumping out of a balloon. His description of service in Palestine in 1945, following the end of World War II, is especially interesting. He discusses keeping the peace between the Jews and the Arabs, and some of the interactions he had with civilians during his time overseas.