Dorchester resident takes on Beefeater role at the Tower of London

BEEFEATER: John Donald

BEEFEATER: John Donald

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A DORCHESTER man with more than 20 years of experience in the Army has been sent to the Tower of London.

It will not be a punishment for John Donald though, as he is to take up the iconic role of a Yeoman Warder – commonly known as a Beefeater.

Donald is set to take up residence at Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress The Tower of London after 23 years of distinguished service in the Army.

He will join 36 other Yeoman Warders and their families at the world famous venue and will be responsible for showing the hordes of visitors around the Tower.

Donald, who has been married to wife Kim for 24 years and has two grown up sons, left the Army in 2008 and went on to run the Combined Cadet Force at Bud-mouth College, which involves supervising 180 cadets and 15 adult volunteers.

Originally from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, he joined the Army in 1985 and served for more than two decades in the King’s Royal Hussars, with postings in Germany, Canada, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

He said: “I am so proud to be part of this great tradition and the long history of our nation.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about the history of the Tower and standing up on the block for the first time to give the famous Yeoman Warder tour.

“Eventually I hope to be knowledgeable enough to field any tricky questions that come my way.”

He added: “It was a big decision to leave my life in Dorset and the Combined Cadet Force, but to be a Yeoman Warder is such an iconic role and to be part of the Tower’s history is such a great opportunity. “It’s my first time living in London and I am enjoying the diversity of the city and all the entertainment that London has to offer.”

Donald faces a busy few months learning the script of the famous Yeoman Warder tour word-for-word before being allowed to lead a tour himself.

He will also have to become familiar with each of the 21 separate duties Yeoman Warders conduct every day.

Comments (1)

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4:13pm Sat 5 Jul 14

shy talk says...

To become a Beefeater you must have served a minimum of 22 years in the British Army, the Royal Marines, or the Royal Air Force must have achieved the rank of senior non commissioned officer.

I have all of these qualifications except I served in the Royal Navy being the Senior Service. So why can I not be a Beefeater?

Perhaps it is because us lower deckers do not swear allegiance to the crown and still cannot be trusted.

Wish you well John and Kim.
To become a Beefeater you must have served a minimum of 22 years in the British Army, the Royal Marines, or the Royal Air Force must have achieved the rank of senior non commissioned officer. I have all of these qualifications except I served in the Royal Navy being the Senior Service. So why can I not be a Beefeater? Perhaps it is because us lower deckers do not swear allegiance to the crown and still cannot be trusted. Wish you well John and Kim. shy talk
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