max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C


Bob's proud to protect the crown jewels

16:30 04 September 2007

PROTECTING the crown jewels is not something many people can claim to have responsibility for.

PROTECTING the crown jewels is not something many people can claim to have responsibility for.

But Bob Loughlin, from Alderton, near Woodbridge, is today tasked with doing just that, after being selected to become one of five new Beefeaters to start at the Tower of London.

Mr Loughlin, of Mill Hoo, served in the Royal Air Force for 35 years before becoming a Yeoman Warder in April this year.

All five new recruits, including Moira Cameron, the first ever female beefeater in the guards' 522-year history, came together for the first time yesterday .

Mr Loughlin, 52, was chief of air staff warrant officer with the RAF at Whitehall, before undertaking the three-year application process.

He is now living in the Tower with his wife, Diana, who is a warden in the tower's oldest part, The White Tower.

He plans to remain as a Beefeater until he retires at 65.

Mr Loughlin said: “I had been made chief of air staff warrant officer and that is the highest you can go so I thought what else am I going to do?

“I knew a couple of guys who were Yeoman Warders and always had it in my mind as a plan. It felt it was right for me.

“It means I'm still serving my country, still in a uniform, and protecting Her Majesty.”

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-one has been posted all over the world as part of his job with the armed forces, including a stint in Iraq.

In 2001 he was awarded an MBE by the queen for his services in Afghanistan.

He was posted to RAF Bawdsey in Suffolk in 1984 and it was there that he met wife Diana and where they set up home.

The role of a Yeoman Warder is mostly ceremonial, with responsibilities to attend various state and charity functions.

They also perform the nightly Ceremony of the Keys, have responsibility for the tower's ravens and guide thousands of tourists around each day.

Mr Loughlin added: “There is a lot of history to learn but I am really happy to be here. It is a very unique position to be in. I've done my fair share of wars and operations.

“Living in the tower is like a small village. There is a doctor and chapel and you get to know the other families around you.

“The guys are all ex-military so all have this military ethos. We are all very proud to serve.”

Do you know someone who has an unusual job? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

To be a Beefeater, applicants must have carried out at least 22 years of military service and hold a high rank.

Beefeaters, known by their preferred title of Yeoman Warders, date back to 1485 and the reign of Henry VII when their duty was to guard the prisoners and attend the gates.

Their nickname is likely to have referred to the daily ration of meat they received.

There are 35 Yeoman Warders at the tower as well as the Chief Yeoman Warder and Yeoman Gaoler.

Women have never been excluded from the position. However, the requirement of 22 years' continuous service has meant it is only recently that those with families, who can now count maternity leave as part of their service, are notching up as many years as the men, according to the Historic Royal Palaces charity.

New Yeoman Warders are sworn in on Tower Green after the tower has closed to the public with an oath of allegiance dating back to 1337.



The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Aqua 8, Lion Street, Ipswich

An Ipswich chef-entrepreneur has achieved his dream of opening up his own restaurant in London’s Chinatown.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Theatre Square artists impression

Construction work to tidy up the former Civic Centre site in the heart of Ipswich – and to create a new public square in front of the New Wolsey Theatre.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

More than 30 vehicles were stopped as part of the operation

More than 30 drivers of lorries, light goods vehicles and coaches were stopped by police last week in an initiative aimed to target and disrupt criminal activity.

Robin Byford who is considering High Court action against Suffolk Coastal District Council and the planning inspectorate over planning permission to turn his garage into a house.

A Kesgrave father is considering taking the district council and planning inspectorate to the High Court after a three year planning rollercoaster to convert a garage to a starter home for his daughter.

The Kent Lodge Nursing Home.

Kent Lodge was rated inadequate by the CQC this year – one of five homes in the county to be given the rating this year

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages