After WW2, the Territorial Army was reformed. Part of the reformation was the creation of 16 Airborne Division (TA), a completely new formation intended to take the place of the now disbanded wartime 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions. The number 16 evolved from an amalgam of the divisional numbers of the wartime Airborne Divisions and would be purely Territorial in its nature.
Spread UK wide, the Division comprised of 3 Brigades with the 44th (London) Brigade based throughout what is now the Greater London area. In addition the Divisional Headquarters was situated within Duke of York's Barracks, Chelsea, SW3.
In 1947 the 16 Airborne Division units in Greater London were:
Southall in 1949
(Middlesex Yeomanry) (TA)
4th Parachute Brigade
Infantry – 10th Battalion (County of London)
The Parachute Regiment (TA)
(8th Middlesex) The Parachute Regiment
The establishment of the Division was 3,500 men and in 1947 there were high hopes that this target would be achieved. Recruiting was brisk with many experienced airborne veterans from the wartime 1st and 6th Airborne being first to join along with young men with no previous military experience. However, it soon became clear that such a large airborne formation relying on reserve force soldiers could not be recruited and trained to standards demanded in anything like the numbers required.
In 1955, 16 Airborne Division (TA) was reduced to a Brigade-size formation and became an Independent Parachute Group. Many of the formations that made up the Division were either disbanded or, like the 11th Battalion, reverted to their former Regiment, the 8th Battalion The Middlesex Regiment.
In 2014, the only units within Greater London that were once part of the mighty 16th Airborne Division and still in the Airborne role are:
B Company 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment based at the Army Reserve Centre, White City, Shepherd's Bush W12 7RW
144 Parachute Medical Squadron based at the Army Reserve Centre, 2 Priory Road, Hornsey N8 7QT