July 6th 2020


Lance Corporal Adele Gamblin at the COVID-19 test centre.

Lance Corporal Adele Gamblin at the COVID-19 test centre.

Lincoln soldiers have helped to deliver COVID-19 testing as part of the Government’s national testing programme.

Earlier this month Army Reservists from 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, based at Sobraon Barracks in Lincoln, deployed at the drive-through mobile Coronavirus testing sites across the East Midlands and East Anglia.

The soldiers from 4 (Lincolnshire) Company had been trained to safely collect swabs at the mobile sites before they were sent for processing.

Lance Corporal Liam Bee at the coronavirus testing centre

Lance Corporal Liam Bee at a Coronavirus testing centre.

When not in uniform, Lance Corporal Liam Bee (30) from Welton in North Lincolnshire is a Safety and Environmental Consultant.  He said: “My partner Kimberley works in the NHS at Lincoln Hospital and seeing her going to work geared me up to want to help. It’s been good. I’ve felt like I’ve contributed in a positive manner and I’m quite proud of that.”

Serving alongside him was Lance Corporal Adele Gamblin (38) from Saxilby. A former hairdresser, she currently works full-time as a recruiter for the Regiment.

Adele joined the Reserves four years ago. She moved out of her family home whilst deployed and her mum moved in to care for her two sons; Billy (16) and Mitchell (10).  She explained: “When you join up for something, you do it because you want to give something back. You want to help out and do your bit. I definitely feel like I’m playing my part.”

A young Reservist performing COVID-19 tests

A Reservist performing COVID-19 tests

Local soldiers helping local people

Major Matt Blaney, an assistant head teacher in his civilian life, managed the mobile testing units based across the East Midlands. He said: “One thing that really typifies the Army Reserves is adaptability and I think this deployment has demonstrated that. What has stood out for me is how quickly the soldiers adapted; they’ve lapped up the training and are enjoyed the task.

“We are Lincolnshire’s local county infantry regiment and we received an incredibly warm welcome. People were really pleased to see local people helping them.  It can be quite daunting to go for a test, so I think it’s been nice to have a reassuring local voice.”

Army Reservists continue to support the battle on Coronavirus across the UK. The mobile facilities can be set up in less than 20 minutes and allow for hundreds of people to be tested each day.

Are you considering joining the Army Reserve? Reserves are recruiting now, find a unit near you here.

To read more about The 3rd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment ‘The Steelbacks’ you can follow the link here.

“We’ve a broad range of experience and lots of the guys have really interesting civilian careers.  All of them stopped their civilian jobs, changed into their green kit and happily stepped out the door to serve. I think that sums up the commitment of the Army Reserve." - Major Matt Blaney