RAF Wings to Tudor uniform: the Tower of London welcomes new recruit

RAF Wings to Tudor uniform: the Tower of London welcomes new recruit

10 September 2015

Spike Abbott joins the Tower of London as Yeoman Warder (more commonly known as ‘Beefeater’). Yeoman Warder Abbott takes up the iconic role after 35 years of distinguished service in the Royal Air Force. 

YW Abbott joins 36 other Yeoman Warders who are descended from the ancient band of warders who guarded the gates and royal prisoners, early in the Tower’s history. Modern Yeoman Warders are still Extraordinary Members of the Queen’s Bodyguard and are all former warrant officers from Her Majesty’s Forces with an honourable service record of at least 22 years. Today they combine their traditional ceremonial role with a love of history to make the past come to life for visitors.


YW Abbott is currently learning word-for-word the Story - the script of the famous Yeoman Warder Tour - before being allowed to lead a tour himself. He will also become familiar with each of the 21 separate duties that the Yeoman Warders conduct each and every day.


YW Abbott said:

“I heard about the position of Yeoman Warder around eight years ago and have been visiting the Tower ever since to find out more about the history of the Tower of London and the role of Yeoman Warder. I really enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and all over the world that come to visit the Tower. My biggest challenge at the moment is learning the Story before I can lead a famous Yeoman Warder tour. My years of learning checklists for the RAF are coming in handy!


It’s fantastic to live right in the heart of London in such a vibrant area, with the bustle of the City next door and the quiet cobbled streets of Wapping nearby. I want to learn more about the fascinating history of Lady Jane Grey – once I’ve perfected the Story!”

YW Abbott was born in Cyprus where his father also served in the RAF. He currently lives in Abingdon-on-Thames with his wife of 33 years Lisa and his son Luke, 23. Before joining the Tower of London, YW Abbott was stationed in RAF Brize Norton, RAF Lyneham and RAF Abingdon. He served as an Air Load Master and is the second Master Aircrew to obtain the position of Yeoman Warder. Outside of work YW Abbott volunteers with armed forces charity SSAFA and enjoys kayaking and cycling.


Notes to editors

For further information and images, please contact the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 020 3166 6340 or email pauline.stobbs@hrp.org.uk


Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk


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