Reserve Lewis passes army Outback test

The Westmorland Gazette: Kingsman Lewis Birchall Kingsman Lewis Birchall

A KENDAL Army Reservist has been training in the sub-tropical bushland of Australia in one of the first military exercises of its kind.

Kingsman Lewis Birchall, who normally works as a welder, spent a week living outdoors in the land surrounding Lone Pine Barracks – home to the Australian Army School of Infantry.

Lewis, 25, has been living under canvas and patrolling New South Wales – a far cry from his day job at Pier 1 Metalworks, Kendal.

He was among a platoon of 30 reservists from the 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment to undertake the exercise alongside reservists of the Australian Army.

The soldiers were sent into the bush with a checklist of warnings about local wildlife, including boot-piercing cactus thorns, venomous snakes and even a potentially aggressive kangaroo population.

Lewis, who joined the Reserves three years ago, said: “I thought if would be a good way to an exciting life - I like new experiences.”

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