First for Royal Navy aircraft engineer joining Beefeaters
The Tower of London has welcomed two new Yeoman Warders - with one making history as the first former Royal Navy aircraft engineer to hold the famous role.
After nearly 26 years of service with the Royal Navy, Ryan ‘Barney’ Barnett is joining the other Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, who work and live at the Tower of London.
Lisa Garland, a former RAF Air Traffic Controller, has also become a Beefeater, bringing the total number of Yeoman Warders to 35.
YW Lisa Garland was born and raised in Halifax, in West Yorkshire, and served for 22 years as an Air Traffic Controller in the Royal Air Force. pic.twitter.com/mKPMEty3GU— The Tower of London (@TowerOfLondon) October 11, 2023
During almost three decades in the Royal Navy, YW Barnett has served within the Fleet Air Arm as an Aircraft Engineer with deployments in Sierra Leone, the Gulf, Malaysia, the United States, and across Europe.
YW Barnett joined the Navy at the age of 18. He calls Yeovil in Somerset home despite having spent part of his childhood growing up just a few miles from the Tower of London.
A keen Tottenham Hotspur fan, YW Barnett said: "I always dreamed of returning to London, but now I have the best of both worlds, both living and working here".
One of his other passions is history, a valuable asset for sharing tales of the nearly 1000-year-old fortress.
In the next few months, YW Garland and YW Barnett will have to learn word-for-word 'the Story,' the script of the famous Yeoman Warder Tour which is around eight and a half thousand words.
Henry VII created the role of Yeoman Warder in 1485, so there is a lot of history to learn, especially considering that the role can trace its origins even further than that, to the band of warders who guarded the Tower of London and its prisoners from the reign of William the Conqueror.
The new Wardens will also master the 21 daily duties, including the historic Ceremony of the Keys, performed at the Tower of London every night for over 700 years.
Securing the coveted role of Yeoman Warder of His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London is no easy feat.
YW Garland said that her new appointment at the Tower "feels very surreal".
Applicants must have served at least 22 years in the Armed Forces, hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal, and have reached a certain rank in their service.
After the interview comes a rigorous selection process before being approved for the role of Yeoman Warder of His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London.
YW Garland became the sixth woman in the 500-year history of Yeoman Wardens at the Tower of London to take on the role.
The former Flight Sergeant said she is "still pinching" herself that she has had the opportunity to be part of history.
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