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What is it?
A model of the Yeoman Gaoler, the Second-in-Command of the Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London. He is in full ceremonial state dress uniform. These men and women warders are all former Warrant Officers in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, each having served at least 22 years, and holding the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. They are often known by their nickname of "Beefeaters", due to their historically being paid partly in cuts of beef.
The figure is wearing his medals across his left breast, has the Royal Crown in the centre of his jerkin and wears, on his right arm, four chevrons ("stripes") and a crown to denote his rank. He holds the ceremonial axe of his position, which he will wield at the Ceremony of the Keys: Held every night, continuously, for over 700 years.
On his shoulder is a raven: An important part of the mythology that surrounds the Tower. For it is said that, should there not remain six ravens at the Tower, the fortress - and the kingdom itself - shall fall. Because of this, there is a Yeoman with specific duties in attending to, and keeping, these magnificent birds: The Ravenmaster.
Why did I build it?
This month we heard the tremendous news that our good friend, Bob (all the following info is in the public domain on the internet, but I have removed his surname on advice from LEGO Ideas), had been promoted into this position. Bob was my boss and mentor for many years during his first career (34 years in the Royal Navy, in which he rose to Warrant Officer First Class and Executive Warrant Officer of HMS ARK ROYAL; the last appointment he shared with me, as I was her Chief Boatswain's Mate). He then served for 6 years as a Yeoman Warder, taking the same oath of allegiance to the Sovereign that men and women have done since 1337, before being promoted to Yeoman Serjeant. Now he begins his new duties and I wanted to honour him by building this replica.
The Tower of London, and all her many myths and legends, has fascinated me since childhood. I read about it in school and my mother took me to visit the place many years ago. Since then I have returned on numerous occasions, including in Her Majesty's Ships, berthed at the naval moorings beside Greenwich or alongside the museum ship, HMS BELFAST. As part of these visits, I have marched into the Tower as part of the Ceremony of the Constable's Dues, paying for the protection she affords to visiting navy vessels by presenting a small gift. My love of such traditions and myths is represented in this build by the model wearing best uniform and being accompanied by one of Her Majesty's Ravens.
Will it make a good LEGO set?
I think so. Plenty of people love the history and tradition wrapped-up in such things, so I have no doubt there would be interested persons out there.