Templer Lecture: Prof Helen Parr on 'Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper'
Thursday 14th November 2019
The Society’s Templer Lecture, delivered annually by the winner of the Templer Medal for the best book on British military history, was held on 14 November 2019 at the Army and Navy Club in London. Our speaker this year was Professor Helen Parr (Keele University), awarded the Medal for her acclaimed book 'Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper'.
Professor Parr discussed the story of her uncle Dave, killed on the final day of the Falklands War, and examined the wider experiences of the men who served in the Parachute Regiment during the conflict. She perceptively explored their backgrounds, training regimen and battlefield encounters, reflecting on the importance of regimental identity and the pursuit of manliness in the making of a paratrooper. Parr argued that the Falklands War marked a shift in the relationship between the armed forces and wider British society, highlighting changes in the cultural commemoration of fallen soldiers.
This fascinating and moving lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session and a dinner attended by the speaker, the Templer Medal judges, and several Society members.