David Allmond, chairman of the Spalding branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, also conquered fear by jumping out of aircraft.
In his case it was when he joined the Airborne Forces in 1956, but he was trained by the people he says “set the standard”, the parachute regiment war veterans.
Just like the veterans, David went through a selection process that sounds as challenging as the leap into the unknown.
David describes it as “fearsome” and says it’s something everyone goes through, whether gunner or medic and in whatever regiment or corps. Only 30 per cent of volunteers get through the initial trial of “severe physical tests”. For David, these included climbing, walking on scaffold 40ft high, and stints in the boxing ring to test a man’s ability to control violent situations.
The “42ers”, as David calls the war volunteers, went to Ringway, near Manchester, for further training in control of the parachute in the air, exiting the aircraft, landing and locating a meeting point, in addition to the usual marching, weapons training, demolitions, map reading and first-aid.