New role for former Royal Navy senior rate

From dark blue to deep red … former Royal Navy Warrant Officer Terry Briggs shows off his new uniform at the Tower of London.

Terry has become the 408th Yeoman Warder, to give the beefeaters their proper name, to guard the Tower since records began in the 19th Century.

The former WO, who served in the Royal Navy for more than 32 years, joins 36 other Yeoman Warders, who are descended from the ancient band of warders who guarded the gates and Royal prisoners.

Terry 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.”

To be the 408th Yeoman Warder since records began fills me with an enormous amount of pride.

Former Royal Navy Warrant Officer Terry Briggs

One of his first challenges will be to learn word-for-word 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.

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 London, YW Briggs was a Warrant Officer based at Northwood NATO HQ. He also served with the Royal Navy in the Gulf specialising in mine warfare. Outside work, he is a keen motorbike enthusiast. 

Modern Yeoman Warders are still Extraordinary Members of the Queen’s Bodyguard. Today they combine their traditional ceremonial role with a love of history to make the past come to life for visitors.