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Three new ‘Beefeaters’ to bear the cypher of King Charles III as they join the ranks at the Tower of London

Emily Lewis-Garwood from South Devon, Garry McCormick from Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire and Wayne Glynn from North Yorkshire have become the newest Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London, and the first to begin their roles wearing the new cypher of His Majesty King Charles III. They join 32 other Yeoman Warders who live and work at the Tower of London, alongside their families.

The role of Yeoman Warder, popularly known by the nickname ‘Beefeater’, descends from the band of warders who guarded the Tower of London and its prisoners from the reign of William the Conqueror. The Yeoman Warders as they exist today were officially created in 1485 by Henry VIII as an extension of his personal protection, and to this day continue to hold a traditional ceremonial role as Extraordinary Members of The King’s Bodyguard. Today they help to bring the Tower’s history alive for millions of visitors each year, sharing stories, posing for photographs, and leading their famous Yeoman Warder tours.

Applicants for the role of Yeoman Warder of His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, must have served at least 22 years in the armed forces, hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal, and have reached the rank of Warrant Officer or equivalent, before being selected for interview and a rigorous selection process. The new Yeoman Warder uniforms were unveiled in April and feature a large royal crown in red, below which is the insignia of the reigning monarch, which now show ‘CIIIR’ in recognition of the new monarch.

YW Emily Lewis-Garwood grew up in Brixham, in South Devon, and served for 25 years as a Combat Medical Technician in the Royal Army Medical Corps, stationed across the UK and in Germany, The Falklands and Cyprus throughout her career. She will be the first female Combat Medical Technician to become a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London, as well as the fifth woman to take on the role in its 500-year history. When she isn’t on duty at the Tower of London, Emily loves to travel, watch live music, and embrace her lifelong passion for rugby both on and off the pitch. YW Lewis-Garwood has found her first impression of life at the Tower to be both “rewarding” and “sociable”, saying that she feels “part of a family”, with “lots of hard work ahead”.

YW Garry McCormick was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, grew up all over the UK, and now lives in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire. He served for 23 years as a Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner, serving on Air Defence systems, Field Squadrons, and Parachute Squadrons including a tour in 16 Air Assault Brigade, with 616 Tactical Air Control Party as a Forward Air Controller. Garry rose through the ranks to become a Flight Sergeant, and took on instructional posts including basic, advanced and sniper training, while undertaking operational tours in the Falkland Islands, former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Kuwait and Iraq. He has been married to his wife Karen for 34 years, and together they share two children and four grandchildren. YW McCormick says “I find it very difficult to put into words the pride I feel in having been selected for the appointment of Yeoman Warder here at the Tower of London”. It has been a lifelong ambition of his since visiting the Tower in 1968 as a small child, where he had his photograph taken with a Yeoman Warder.

YW Wayne Glynn served for 23 years in the British Army, firstly within the 1st Battalion 22nd (Cheshire Regiment) and then within the 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment. During this time he was stationed across the UK, with operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. YW Glynn grew up in Cheshire, and moved to North Yorkshire with his wife Carla, where they lived for a number of years with their two sons. Before becoming a Yeoman Warder, Wayne was a Policy Support Officer for the Defence Policy and Nuclear Team at the British Embassy in Washington DC. YW Glynn says of his appointment as a Yeoman Warder, “I’m still pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming!”.

Over the coming months, YW Lewis-Garwood, YW McCormick and YW Glynn will learn ‘the Story’- the script of the famous Yeoman Warder Tour- before being allowed to lead their own tours of the Tower of London. They will also learn the 21 separate duties conducted by the Yeoman Warders each day, including the ancient Ceremony of the Keys; the closing ceremony that has taken place every single night for at least 700 years.

 

Yeoman Warder facts

  • As of June 2023, there are currently 35 Yeoman Warders at the Tower including the Chief Yeoman Warder and Yeoman Gaoler.
  • There are two uniforms for the Yeoman Body. The Ceremonial Uniform is worn for state occasions; for example, when the monarch visits the Tower or for any state occasion that the Body attends. It is scarlet and gold with red stockings, white ruff and black shoes. On a typical day, visitors to the Tower will see the Yeoman Warders wearing their blue undress uniform, of different weights for summer and winter.
  • The sovereign’s initials have appeared on uniforms worn by Yeoman Warders since 1570, and the Blue Undress uniform was updated just before the Coronation to bear the new cypher of King Charles III, as a continuation of this tradition.
  • There are plenty of myths and legends associated with the origins of the nickname ‘Beefeater’, but no one is exactly sure where it came from. The most likely explanation is that Yeoman Warders were given a daily ration of meat for their duties. Records show that even in 1813 the daily ration for the thirty men on duty was 24lbs of beef, 18lbs mutton and 16lbs of veal!

Notes to Editors

For further information and images please contact Jessica England in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office via [email protected] / 020 3166 6166

Historic Royal Palaces is a team of people who love and look after six of the most wonderful palaces in the world. We create space for spirits to stir and be stirred. We want everyone to feel welcome and accepted. We tell stories about the monarchs you know and the lives you don’t. We let people explore and we set minds racing. We are a charity and your support gives the palaces a future, for everyone.

Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk

 

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