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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Beefeater heads for South Devon Railway

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John Keohane, 62, who works for the South Devon Railway as a volunteer director, is relinquishing his role as the Tower of London’s chief yeoman warder.

The Beefeater likes nothing better than spending a weekend on the railway and is moving down to Devon to be near the SDR. John doubles as Sir Topham Hat, the Fat Controller, every so often for Thomas the Tank Engine days. He will also drive a Routemaster bus for weddings and other occasions.

John joined the army as a young man and served 27 years rising to the rank of Sergeant Major in the Royal Corps of Signals. With his wife Ruth, he lived in the Tower of London, responsible for guarding the crown jewels and locking up at night.

John has called for people to be more aware of their heritage represented by the Tower of London.

He says he’ll miss the job and the people he met which, as well as 1,000s of tourists from all over the world, ranged from Princess Dianna to Vladimir Putin. ‘I leave with many fond memories,’ he said.


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