A sister at Epsom General Hospital clinical assessment unit is about to be sent to Afghanistan to serve in a unique mother-son Army duo.

Major Elaine Howlin, 55, is Officer Commanding of the C squadron of the 256 (City of London) Field Hospital as well as working at Epsom General.

Elaine, who lives in Ashtead, will find herself in Afghanistan at the same time as her son Martin who is in the Grenadier Guards.

She joined the TA 10 years ago and at one time she and her three sons were all in the Army together but two have now left for civilian life.

She has already served in Iraq.

She said: “The armed forces medical services do a great job out there and it is a privilege to be part of it."

Lance Corporal Jess Smith, 25, from Stoneleigh, who has been in the TA for seven years, is also on the way to Afghanistan.

Her civilian job is an emergency medical technician with the London Ambulance Service, based in Tolworth. Jess will be fulfilling the role of a combat med technician St Helier Hospital radiographer, Captain Karen Dear, 39, who is second in command of C Squadron based in Kingston is about to undertake a second tour of duty.

She served in Iraq in 2004.

They are among 90 London Army Medical Service reservists who are preparing to be sent out to Camp Bastion in the autumn for a three month tour of duty.

They will take over from Danish Military Reservist Field Hospital staff to provide the clinical expertise for the military field hospital in Camp Bastion.

Each of the reservists will undergo rigorous training before leaving for Afghanistan including military training, fitness,exercises and both civilian and military clinical training which provide them with realistic simulation in terms of the environment, pressure and the casualties they will face.

The Camp Bastion British Military Hospital, in the heart of Helmand Province, is now a world leading centre for military medical care.

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