Who are the men who wear the maroon beret?. Journalist Claire Gillman and photographer Simon Walker spent eighteen months finding out. They were given unprecedented access to the private and working lives of the Paras, accompanying 5 Airborne Brigade on trips ranging from stark patrols of South Armagh to training in the steamy jungle of Central America; following every aspect of their daily existence from the full ceremony gf a regimental dinner to the raucous off-duty drinking sessions in the pubs of Aldershot; and witnessing the rare and precious moments of family life. Claire Giliman investigates what it is that prompts a man to put himself through the most difficult selection process in the world knowing that only a quarter of those who start will get through. The Paras are revealed as men of burning ambition, who push themselves to the limit of their physical and mental endurance and beyond, who adhere to a strict code of conduct and of honour and develop an esprit de corps which is hard for outsiders to penetrate. As a woman in a man's world, Claire Giliman found that many soldiers confided things in her that they might not have shared with another man.
Her text is further illuminated by more than 100 of Simon Walker's candid and dramatic photographs. In "Para", we come as close to understanding the members of this close-knit regiment as we are likely to get.show more