Professional, Regimented and Aggressive: British paratroopers and the Falklands War

Hosted by the Department of International History

Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, United Kingdom


Professor Helen Parr

Professor Helen Parr



Professor Matthew Jones

Professor Matthew Jones


In this seminar, Helen Parr talked about the lives and experiences of British paratroopers before, during and after the short but symbolic 1982 Falklands war.

Focusing on the experiences of the elite Parachute Regiment in the 1982 Falklands War, this seminar examined the social backgrounds of men who joined its ranks in the late 1970s, looked at how they were trained to become soldiers, and at how they experienced battle and its aftermath.

The lives of these men open a window to the relationships between society and the military, between masculinity, regimental identity and the experiences of combat, and between Britain's military past and its present.

The seminar was based on Helen Parr’s book, Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper (Allen Lane, 2018).

This was the first event of the "Cultures of War" seminar series, co-convened by Matthew Jones and Tarak Barkawi. In this seminar series scholars and practitioners examine and discuss the experience of war and conflict and the new conceptual approaches and insights, across the humanities and the social sciences, which now feature in new work in this field. This seminar series provides a forum for new directions in war studies, military history, strategic studies, conflict studies, and related areas.

Previous seminars in the series:

12 February 2020: Mediating Militarism through Affect: the politics of sacrifice in the Pakistan army with Professor Anders Engberg-Pedersen (University of Southern Denmark)


Helen Parr is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Keele University.

Matthew Jones is Professor of International History at LSE and Head of Department.

Tarak Barkawi is Professor of International Relations at LSE.

The Department of International History (@lsehistory) teaches and conducts research on the international history of Britain, Europe and the world from the early modern era up to the present day. Sponsored by the department's Contemporary International History and the Global Cold War research cluster.

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) is now in its 91st year, making them one of the oldest as well as largest in the world. They are ranked 4th in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2019 tables for Politics and International Studies.

See pictures of the event.


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Photo credit: ©Nick Ut