Sum­moned to the tower


Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A FOR­MER Royal Navy ser­vice­man has been sent to the tower – of his own vo­li­tion.

Terry Briggs be­comes the 408th Yeo­man Warder (more com­monly known as ‘Beefeater’) to guard the Tower of Lon­don, since records be­gan in the 19th cen­tury.

Yeo­man Warder Briggs takes on this iconic role af­ter more than 32 years of dis­tin­guished ser­vice in the Royal Navy.

Fa­ther of two, YW Briggs 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.

One of YW Briggs’ first chal­lenges will be to learn word-for­word the ‘Story’ – the script of the fa­mous Yeo­man Warder Tour of the Tower.

Once he has per­fected the Story, he will be al­lowed to lead a tour him­self, de­light­ing vis­i­tors from across the world with al­most a thou­sand years of Tower his­tory. 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.

Born and raised in Hayes, Lon­don, YW Briggs was a War­rant Of­fi­cer based at North­wood NATO HQ. He has also served with the Royal Navy in the Gulf spe­cial­is­ing in mine war­fare.

Out­side work, YW Briggs is a keen mo­tor­bike en­thu­si­ast. Yeo­man Warder Briggs said: “To be the 408th Yeo­man Warder since records be­gan fills me with an enor­mous amount of pride. Liv­ing at the Tower of Lon­don is un­real, the size and scale of the place is just awe-in­spir­ing, you re­ally feel as if you are liv­ing and breath­ing his­tory.

“It was my birth­day re­cently and what bet­ter present than wak­ing up in a royal palace!”

Yeo­man Warder Terry Briggs

A raven at the Tower of Lon­don

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