The Tower welcomes ‘Beefeater’ no. 400
Jason Woodcock becomes the 400th Yeoman Warder (more commonly known as ‘Beefeater’) to guard the Tower of London, since records began of the Tudor body in the 19th century. Starting at the Tower this year, Yeoman Warder Woodcock takes up the iconic role after 24 years of distinguished service in the Army. He joins 36 other Yeoman Warders who live at the Tower with their families.
Yeoman Warder Woodcock was born in Stoke-on-Trent and currently lives in Liverpool with his wife and son. He was stationed in Bosnia, Cyprus, Canada, Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the next few months, Yeoman Warder Woodcock will learn 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.
Yeoman Warder Woodcock said:
“Starting at the Tower of London is both overwhelming and surreal. I want to continue to serve my country as a Yeoman Warder and to be part of such a prestigious team. I love talking to people and helping them to enjoy their experience at the Tower. Every day is different and you get to meet new people from all over the world although, it was very special meeting people from my home town Stoke-on-Trent.
I’m particularly interested in the history of the Tower during the First World War and it’s been a privilege to start during the centenary commemorations and to see the poppies art installation grow over the past few months.”
Yeoman Warder Woodcock joins the close knit community of Yeoman Warders at the Tower. The Yeoman Warders are descended from the ancient band of warders whom from early in the Tower’s history, had the responsibility for guarding the gates and royal prisoners. 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 and a way with words to make the past come to life for visitors – a noble tradition which Yeoman Warder Jason Woodcock is eager to become a part of.
Notes for Editors
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Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. 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.