Army Air Corps serviceperson soars to new heights as Tower of London’s latest ‘Beefeater’ recruit

28 June 2018

28 June 2018

Scott Kelly joins the Tower of London as the 409th Yeoman Warder (more commonly known as ‘Beefeater’) since records began in the 19th Century. Yeoman Warder Kelly takes on this iconic role following more than 23 years of distinguished service in the Army Air Corps.

Over the next few months, YW Kelly 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, including the Ceremony of the Keys, a closing ceremony that has taken place every night at the Tower of London without fail for at least 700 years.

Father of two, YW Kelly is from Exeter, Devon and currently lives in Ash Vale, Surrey. Before joining the Tower of London, YW Kelly was based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton and has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq. Outside work, YW Kelly has a lifetime passion for rugby, having represented the first team squads at Exeter Rugby Club and the Army Rugby Union. He is also involved in charity work supporting veterans from the Glider Pilot Regiment.  

Yeoman Warder Kelly said:

“Becoming the 409th Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London since records began is a huge honour and I can’t wait to tackle the responsibilities that come with this unique job. As a country boy, it still feels surreal that I now live in one of London’s most iconic landmarks! My late father served in the Royal Artillery so I’d like to think he would be very proud that I now wear the uniform of the Queen’s Bodyguard.”

The Yeoman Warders 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. They 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.


Notes to editors

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. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit