Tower of London gets 400th Beefeater to guard Crown Jewels and be nice to tourists
PUBLISHED: 14:14 23 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:14 23 September 2014
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Jason Woodcock has become the 400th Beefeater at the Tower of London since records of the Tudor Royal guards began in the 19th century.
He takes up the iconic role of looking after the White Tower and other bits of the royal palace after 24 years of service in the Army.
Jason, who joins 36 other beefeaters and their families living at The Tower with his wife and son, has served in Bosnia, Cyprus, Canada, Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq.
But now he takes on the tough role of guarding the Crown Jewels and being nice to the tourists.
“Starting at the Tower of London is overwhelming and surreal,” the rookie beefeater confided. “But I love talking to people and helping them.
“You get to meet new people from all over the world, although it was special meeting people from Stoke-on-Trent, my home town.”
He has to learn word-for-word the platter of The Tower’s history, the script of the famous Yeoman Warder Tour, before being allowed to lead tours himself. He will also become familiar with each of the 21 separate duties that the Yeoman Warders carry out every day.
Jason was particularly pleased to arrive during the First World War centenary commemorations and to see the poppies art installation in the dried-up castle moat grow over the past few months.