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Dorset Army reservists joining fight against Covid-19

Published by Mike Draper at 11:03am 6th April 2020.

The MOD has confirmed that military reserves are mobilising to support the NHS and public services as part of the COVID Support Force.

It's understood that 30 of the Reserves from Royal Wessex Yeomanry which has a base at Allenby Barracks, Bovington, are being mobilised from today (Monday 6 April).

They are part of a specially formed unit with their other squadrons from Swindon, Salisbury, Paignton and Barnstaple.

Wessex FM News has been told it's the first time since 1939 they've been mobilised as a whole.

  • Army Reservists are ordinary people
  • They usually have family and work commitments
  • As Reservists they are prepared to undertake extraordinary responsibilities
  • They are deployed alongside the Regulars on defensive, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations


A spokesperson for the MOD said:

"At the moment, only Reservists with specialist skills that meet specific requests for help from other government departments will be called out."

"They will be used in a range of roles, such as providing medical and logistical support for the NHS; acting as liaison officers; and deploying specialist skills such as engineering and accounting. Reservists already working in the NHS or other front line roles will not be used."


These are all local people who lead civilian lives, not ones who have the armed forces as their main career.

  • The Royal Wessex Yeomanry is the only Armoured Cavalry regiment in the south west
  • Four squadrons make up the The Royal Wessex Yeomanry
  • The Royal Wessex Yeomanry has Army Reserve centres in Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, and Gloucestershire