A Lancaster couple will be swapping flowers and chocolates for rations and rifles this Valentine’s Day.
Jeff Tosh and Sarah Edgar who are both members of Lancaster-based 381 Supply Squadron, 159 Supply Regiment, are this week preparing for potential deployment to Afghanistan.
Private Jeff Tosh, 37, and Private Sarah Edgar, 26, are two of four soldiers from their Squadron who could deploy to Afghanistan later this year.
They are currently based at the Reinforcements Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC) in Chilwell, Nottingham, where they are undergoing medical and dental checks, completing their pay documentation and collecting kit.
Whilst at the RTMC they will also complete a course that will include skill at arms training and first aid. On leaving the RTMC the soldiers will join Germany based 1 Logistic Support Regiment for the further training they will need should they deploy to Afghanistan.
“We will celebrate Valentine’s Day in the evening, which to be honest won’t be that different to any other year,” said Sarah. “It means more to us that we are together. If we do deploy we both realise we probably won’t see each other every day, but it will still give us comfort to know we are both out there at the same time.
“If we get chance to see each other that’s a bonus.”
The couple, who have been dating for four years, joined the Army Reserve together two years ago. Neither has served on operations before. Jeff, who is a gym manager at Total Fitness in Preston said: “We met through our interest in sport and keeping fit.
“We had both been thinking about joining the Army Reserve, so we decided to join together.”
Sarah who in civilian life works as a fitness instructor at LA3 Fitness Suite at Heysham High School, said: “I have friends who are in the regular army who told me to take a look at the Army Reserve; that I would enjoy it, so we went along to our local unit and joined.”
Both are Endurance Training Leaders (ETL) in their Squadron and plan to train as Physical Training Instructors. As an ETL they are qualified to lead fellow soldiers on long distance runs.
“We still plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We all have the weekend off so it will be nice to do something romantic Friday evening,” said Jeff.
Past Valentine’s has seen Jeff whisk Sarah away to Paris. “That was a massive surprise,” said Sarah. “It was brilliant. We do enjoy weekends away and we both like to take part in adventure training like rock climbing and skiing.”
The couple went skiing with the army in January to Tignes, France. “It was the second time we’d been away with the srmy,” said Jeff. “We were first time skiers, so we went on the novice skiers’ course last year and this year we went on the improvers’ course.
“I don’t think we would have done it on our own, the opportunity was there with the Army so we took it.”
The role of 381 Supply Squadron, 159 Supply Regiment, is to supply equipment in support of operations.
The Squadron is based at Alexandra Barracks Army Reserve Centre in Caton Road.