New Beefeater Jim Duncan
A profile interview with Yeoman Warder Jim Duncan
Name: Jim Duncan
Marital status: Married
Family: Two sons – Andrew (32) and Christian (27)
I was mostly raised, and lived, in the Medway Towns (Chatham) but I have lived on and off in London as well – Whitechapel, Kennington, Woolwich and Blackheath. Our family home is in Chatham, Kent.
Which regiments did you serve with?
I served with the Queens Regiment and the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR).
How many years in military service?
I served for 40 years– enlisted in the army on 17 April 1972 as a boy soldier.
Where have you been stationed?
Wehr and Minden in West Germany, Gibralter, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Cambridge, Canterbury, Salisbury, Horsham, Belize, Falkland Islands, Canada, Colchester, Bavaria, Long Stanton, Bassingbourne and Honington.
What role did you do prior to becoming a Yeoman Warder?
I was Royal Sergeant Major for recruits in London, as part of the overseas pre-selection team, I also selected potential soldiers to join the British army in Commonwealth countries including Belize, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada and Fiji.
How does it feel to be appointed a Yeoman Warder?
It is an honour and a privilege to be selected and appointed as a Yeoman Warder – a little boy’s dream come true that makes me feel on top of the world! I knew about the role as I have a friend who was a Yeoman Warder and close contacts with the Tower (we used the Tower to enlist people into the army).
What are your first impressions of life as a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London?
It is a fantastic role being part of living history. I think life here will be ever changing each day and each person you meet will bring new challenges. I believe that Yeoman Warders are seen as the face of the Tower and always being in the public eye can be both demanding and rewarding.
Have you moved in to your home at the Tower of London? What is it like?
I have yet to move in. However, I have looked around the accommodation a few times and I feel it will suit my needs very nicely; it will in time become a home away from home.
How are you finding living in Central London?
I have lived and worked in London for the past 12 years and it is a fantastic city. There is never a dull moment with such a great place on your doorstep and there is not enough time in each day to enjoy it all.
What will you be doing over the next few weeks?
I am now starting to adjust to Tower life. A lot of the time is being taken up with learning the job and developing ‘My Story’ – which will become part of the tours I will give to visitors at the Tower. Home life is always moving at a fast pace and I’m planning my next break in New Romney (Kent) – just a short trip to recharge and relax.
Notes to Editors
For more information about Jim Duncan, Yeoman Warders, the Tower of London, or for interviews and images please contact Eloise Maxwell in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: Eloise.firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3166 6340
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Historic Royal Palaces
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 receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. 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.
We believe in four principles. Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world. Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work.
www.hrp.org.uk Registered charity number 1068852
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