"THE TIGERS" HISTORY
The parachute display team was formed in 1986 under the watchful eye of Colonel P. V. Panton and was primarily co-located at Basingbourne Army Barracks and the Queens Division Head Quarters.
The first team leader, Sergeant Bill "KIWI" Sharpe was drafted in from the Army Parachute Regiment, instead of a member of the Queen's Division for his vast knowledge and expertise; which without his guidance throughout its formative years, the team would not have been as successful as it has been and still remains today.
The team were originally provided with the name "The Flying Dragons", a legacy that still continues to this day, with many members of the Regiment choosing to refer to the team as "The Flying Tigers". As today the team have adopted the name also taken up by their regiment - "The Tigers".
Since its formation the team have had various team Commanders including Andy Brown, Paul Beat, Tom Major, Tony Wasley, Bill Bilner, James Wills, Jay Gladwell, Jay Smith, Roly Coleman, Dave Clarke and Chris Smith. In 2011, who after many years of service to the team relinquished the leadership of the team to Capt Ian Wicks.
Although ever changing the team's past members have all added, in their own way, to the team's legacy and just as their predecessors before them. The present members are constantly looking for ways to improve the teams image.
Throughout its existence the team has always had great support from the regiment, sponsors and the many event organisers, of which without whom the team would not survive. Commercial sponsorships provide the team with most of their funding; past sponsors have included Prudential, Danepak and Shepherd Neame with Spitfire Beer. However at present the team are lacking a sponsor, if you believe you or your company may be able to help with sponsorship of the team, please click here for more information.
The Tigers have performed at a large array of events throughout the years as far a field as Berlin, Kosovo, Cyprus, and more recently at the opening of the birthday celebrations for Her Majesty Queen Margrethe ll of Denmark.
The team now provide additional support to the Army with an active role in recruitment and image promotion, which may include open days, "Look at Life" visits, leaflet drops and visits to events on the Army's behalf. This is a very important role for all members of the team, the regiment and the Army as a whole, as this will help towards the goal of maintaining fully manned and supported battalions.