A Leighton Buzzard father-of-three has taken on the prestigious role of Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London.
Daniel Benson, who has lived in the town for ten years, is the latest ‘Beefeater’ at the historic castle, and will live and work alongside 36 other Yeoman Warders and their families.
His duties as a guard will include traditional ceremonial roles, being an Extraordinary Member of the Queen’s Bodyguard, and telling tourists the ‘Story’ of the Tower of London.
Daniel, 46, said: “Being a Yeoman Warder is unbelievable. I feel very proud to be part of the history and traditions of the Tower.
“My son, Sam, 21, is serving in the army and he is very proud that his dad is a Yeoman Warder. The rest of the family are over the moon!”
Yeoman Warders, nicknamed Beefeaters, are descended from the band of warders who guarded the gates and royal prisoners.
Modern Yeoman Warders are also Extraordinary Members of the Queen’s Bodyguard. To qualify, applicants must have served for at least 22 years in the armed forces, hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal, and have reached the level of warrant officer.
Daniel served with the Yorkshire Regiment (formerly a Green Howard) for 28 years, and has also served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Germany amongst others, as well as working for Help for Heroes .
His wife, Kristi, 41, and two dogs, will move from Sandhills during September when Daniel’s probation finishes, while his daughters, Harriet, 12, and Lily, 10, will visit from Hull.
Daniel said: “We moved to Leighton Buzzard because it’s a commuter town and Kristi works in London as a croupier.
“The only problem is, my girls are a bit scared of the ghosts in the Tower!
“I’m slowly learning the story and took my first Ceremony of the Keys on Sunday, closing the inner and outer gates at taking the keys to the Constable of the Tower. It’s been going on for 700 years , held around 10pm at night. I hope to be here until I retire.”