Woman from Halifax 'still pinching herself' as she makes history as sixth female in 500 years to become a Tower of London Beefeater
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She is joining 34 other ‘Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London’ – commonly known as Beefeaters – who live and work at the tower, alongside their families.
The role was was officially created in 1485 by Henry VII but can be traced back even further to the band of warders who guarded the Tower of London and its prisoners from the reign of William the Conqueror.
Henry VII created the Yeoman Body as an extension of his personal protection, and to this day they continue to hold a traditional ceremonial role as Extraordinary Members of The King’s Bodyguard.
Today, Beefeaters help to bring the history of the Tower of London to life for millions of visitors each year, regaling them with stories during tours, posing for photographs, and carrying out ceremonial duties.
Applicants for the job 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.
They have to undergo an interview and rigorous selection process.
Lisa was born and raised in Halifax and served for 22 years as an air traffic controller in the Royal Air Force.
Reaching the rank of flight sergeant, YW Garland served all over the UK during her military career, as well as in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Cyprus.
She is the sixth woman to take on the role of Yeoman Warder in its 500-year history.
When she is not on duty, she says she likes to spend time outdoors, walking and skiing, and spending quality time with family and friends.
She said her new appointment feels “very surreal” and she is “still pinching” herself that she has had the opportunity.
No one is exactly sure what the origins of the nickname Beefeater are but there are plenty of myths and legends associated with the name.
The most likely explanation is that the Yeoman Warders were given a daily ration of meat, reflected by records which show that even in 1813 the daily ration for the 30 men on duty was 24lbs of beef, 18lbs of mutton and 16lbs of veal.