Scottish Air Force veteran Tam Reilly became the 414th Beefeater at the Tower of London.

After 35 years of service with the RAF, Dandonian Tam Tam Reilly changed his uniform to join the other 32 Yeomanry Wardens (YW) who live and work in the Tower of London as one of its famous “Beefeaters”.

Mr Reilly, aged 55, joined the RAF Regiment at the age of 23 and has since served throughout the country, most recently serving as a Warrant Officer to provide and support training with RAF Honington.

The father-of-two spotted an ad for the coveted role while on a trip to Bath and immediately decided to apply, being a lifelong history buff.

Tam Reilly, new yeoman overseer of the Tower of London,

The “Beefeaters” are descended from a group of warders who guarded the gates and the royal prisoners from the very beginning of the Tower of London. Today, they combine their passion and knowledge to bring the history of the Tower to life for millions of visitors.

No one knows exactly where the nickname “Beefeater” came from. The most likely explanation is that the yeoman overseers were given a daily ration of meat in exchange for their duties. Records show that even in 1813 the daily ration of thirty attendants was 24 pounds of beef, 18 pounds of mutton and 16 pounds of veal.

There are two uniforms for the Yeoman Body. The ceremonial uniform is worn for state occasions and is predominantly scarlet and gold in color with red stockings, a white collar and black shoes. Casual wear is a blue uniform of different weights for summer and winter.

In addition to giving tours, holding talks and lectures, answering questions about the Tower’s past, and posing for photographs, yeoman overseers also have a traditional ceremonial role as extraordinary members of the Queen’s bodyguards. To qualify, candidates must have served at least 22 years in the armed forces, hold a long service and good conduct medal, and reach the rank of warrant officer or equivalent before they are selected for an interview and a rigorous recruitment process.

Currently, Y. V. Reilly memorizes the script for the famous Yeoman Warden tour and learns about the duties, including the ancient key-handing ceremony that has been held every night in the Tower of London without fail for at least 700 years.

He is joining the Tower of London charity Historic Royal Palaces, which is preparing to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee. The Tower’s iconic moat will be the centerpiece of the stunning new Super Bloom display, where a vibrant sea of ​​flowers will continuously evolve from June to September, changing colors and patterns throughout the summer.

YW Reilly said: “I am honored and humbled to have been chosen to be a member of the Yeomanry Council.

“Having served 35 years in the Royal Air Force, I never imagined that I would find a job outside the army that would come close to giving me the same satisfaction and pride that I felt while working in my corps, but having received a position Yeomanry Warder topped it. It was definitely surreal to step outside my new front door in the Tower of London and face a 50 foot high defensive wall built in the late 13th century, but I am slowly getting used to it.”

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