Soldiers share experiences of working on Covid-19 frontline in West Midlands

By Jamie Brassington | Bewdley | Coronavirus | Published:

Two British Army soldiers have spoken of their roles working at a West Midlands mobile coronavirus testing unit.

Gunner Ben Duxbury

Second Lieutenant Connor McLelland, 23, and Gunner Ben Duxbury, 29, were on duty at West Midlands Safari Park, Bewdley, on June 12.

They are part of a mobile testing unit (MTU) based in the county.

The army was called in by the Government earlier in the pandemic to ramp up testing for people with coronavirus symptoms.

Mr McLelland, from Cornwall, said: "Being an MTU Commander has been a really good opportunity to get involved on the Covid-19 frontline with a small, tight-knit team.

Connor McLelland

"It’s very worthwhile helping worried people get tested as quickly as possible and especially satisfying being able to reassure elderly people and help them use the phone app."

Mr Duxbury, from Blackburn, added: "This is proving to be a massive opportunity for me to see how the Army deals with a major operation and to show what I can do.


"I was at first a bit worried but the PPE we get, and the strict procedures we follow, made me feel safe.

"The best thing about being on an MTU is being supported by the public.

"Just a little ‘thank you’ makes me and the other soldiers feel good."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at


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