Beefeater Chris takes on historic role as latest recruit at Tower of London
PUBLISHED: 14:20 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:28 15 January 2018
Historic Royal Palaces
Chris Clawson is the new boy on the block at the Tower of London after joining as its latest beefeater.
He has been recruited as a Yeoman Warder—the beefeaters’ official tag—after 30 years in the RAF.
Chris has to learn the script of the famous tour of The Tower over the next few months, word-for-word, before being allowed to lead one himself, and get familiar with the 21 duties that beefeaters have to carry out every day in this crown jewel of historic roles.
“It’s incredibly surreal to say I now live at the Tower of London,” he said. “You’re just immersed in the history and grandeur of it all. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”
Chris was a flight sergeant at MoD Abbey Wood near Bristol after his service in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Oman, a camper-van enthusiast and rugby fanatic in his spare time who played in the RAF’s Rugby Union team.
Yeoman Warders descend from the ancient band of warders who guarded the gates and royal prisoners in medieval times. Modern beefeaters are still Extraordinary Members of the Queen’s Bodyguard, all former warrant officers from the Armed Forces who have served at least 22 years. They combine their traditional ceremonial role with a love of history to make the past come to life for tourists to The Tower.