Two Beefeaters sacked from Tower of London for bullying first female member

In 2007, Moira Cameron became the first female Yeoman Warder - or Beefeater - in their 500 year history.

At the time, there were those, including fellow Beefeaters, who thought that a woman should not have been allowed to become a Beefeater.

Now two Beefeaters have been sacked for harrassing Miss Cameron. Mark Sanders-Crook (who is the first Beefeater to have a father who was also a Beefeater) and Bob Brown will have to leave their grace-and-favour homes in the Tower of London.

Investigations were launched last month after Miss Cameron's entry in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia had been tampered with, nasty notes were left in her locker and her uniform defaced.

In theory, the job of the Beefeaters is to guard any prisoners held at the Tower of London and guard the Crown Jewels, which are kept there. But in practice they are tour guides and also tourist attractions in their own right.

The Beefeaters were established in 1485 and to become one you need to have at least 22 years of military service of any Commonwealth realm. Each has a crown and "EIIR" (Elizabeth II Regina) emblazoned on the fronts of their uniforms. When Prince Charles becomes king, "CIIIR" (Charles III Rex) will be emblazoned on them instead.

Two Beefeaters sacked from Tower of London for bullying first female Yeoman

By Sophie Borland and David Wilkes
26th November 2009
Daily Mail

Two Beefeaters have been sacked for bullying the first woman to join their ranks.

Colleagues said Mark Sanders-Crook and Bob Brown had been dismissed and would have to leave their grace-and-favour homes in the Tower of London after being found guilty of harassing Moira Cameron.

Tower authorities started the internal investigation last month following allegations that Miss Cameron's entry in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia had been tampered with, 'nasty' notes were left in her locker and her uniform defaced.

The case against a third Yeoman Warder - the Beefeaters' official title - was not proven.

Bullied: Two male Beefeaters have been sacked following an investigation into allegations of harassment by the first female Beefeater Moira Cameron

Former Grenadier Guardsman Mr Sanders-Crook, 44, was the first Yeoman Warder in the Tower's history to follow in his father's footsteps when he was sworn in to his job in 2005. His father Ray worked there from 1983 to 2000.

Last night Mr Sanders-Crook's mother Maureen accused the Tower authorities of blowing the incident out of proportion and claimed her son was being punished simply for not talking to Miss Cameron.

Fired: Mark Sanders-Crook will have to leave his grace-and-favour home in the Tower of London

The Tower of London

She said: 'He spent 22 years in the Army and he was the most decorated soldier at the Tower.

'He has been charged with not talking to her outside working hours. How is that harassment? He has been absolutely stitched up - and all just for keeping himself to himself.

The Yeoman Warders, or Beefeaters, were established in 1485.

There are several theories as to where the term "Beefeater" comes from. One is that centuries ago they were paid in rations which included beef. In 1669 the Grand Duke of Tuscany visted the Tower and wrote: "A very large ration of beef is given to them daily at court...that they might be called Beef-eaters". Another theory is that the word "Beefeater" comes from the Anglo-Saxon " hlf-ta" ("loaf-eater"), the term for a menial servant. Hlaford (loaf-warden") and hlfdig became "lord" and "lady" respectively.

Today there are 35 Yeomen Warders and one Chief Warder. All warders are retired from the Armed Forces of Commonwealth realms and must be former senior non-commissioned officers with at least 22 years of service. They must also hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. NCOs from the Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force are eligible to apply, but members of the Royal Navy are not, because while members of the other services take oaths to the Crown, members of the Navy take an oath to the Admiralty.

The Yeoman Warders usually wear a dark blue uniform with red trimmings. However, when the monarch visits the Tower, or the warders are on duty at a state occasion, they wear the Tudor State Dress, uniforms which are red and gold.

It is the job of the Yeoman Warden Ravenmaster to look after the Tower of London's ravens. According to legend, at least six ravens must be kept at the Tower at all times, otherwise the Tower's White Tower, the monarchy, and the entire kingdom would fall. There are ten ravens at the Tower (6 on duty and four spare) which are employed at the expense of the British government and, in return for their service, they are treated very well. The present ravens are named Gwylum, Thor, Hugin, Munin, Branwen, Gundulf, Baldrick, Fleur and Colin. Six are male and four are female.

The first prisoner was Ranulf Flambard in 1100 who, as Bishop of Durham, was found guilty of extortion. He had been responsible for various improvements to the design of the tower after the first architect Gundulf moved back to Rochester. He escaped from the White Tower by climbing down a rope, which had been smuggled into his cell in a wine casket.

Amongst the last prisoners to ne held at the Tower were the Kray twins, who were imprisoned there in 1952 for failing to report for national service.

'They don't understand what it's like to live in a tight-knit community like all the Beefeaters do at the Tower. To put a single woman in that community was wrong in the first place.

'It was Mark's dream to be a Beefeater since he first visited the Tower when he was 17. He is very upset at what's happened. He went there for the honour and loyalty of the job and they have treated him like dirt.

'This has now made him homeless. He has a wife and has two children at school.

What Moira Cameron's done by complaining will affect all of them.

'The whole thing could have been avoided if someone senior had just told Mark and Moira to sort it out by talking things through.'

Moira Cameron and sacked Bob Brown at the Tower of London in July 2007

Mr Brown, 57, is believed to have worked at the Tower for around three years.

Like Mr Sanders-Crook, he is understood to be a family man with children and to live in accommodation at the Tower.

Miss Cameron, 44, is said to have lost her hair through stress-related alopecia during the alleged hate campaign.

Last night she was on guard outside the Tower of London. She refused to be drawn on the sackings, saying: 'I'm afraid I can't say anything about it.'

But a friend, who would not be identified, said: 'We're very happy about this. It's justice and they deserve to go. They made her life very miserable. I believe the two of them just conspired between themselves.'

A Tower of London spokesman said the two sacked men have the right to lodge an appeal within a week, and the third will return to work shortly.

Miss Cameron, from Argyll in Scotland, joined the Army at the age of 20 and served in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2.

She qualified to be a Yeoman Warder in July 2007 after completing the required minimum 22 years in the armed forces.
Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 26th, 2009 at 12:47 PM..
An opinion like that is definitely something to lose your posh job over. What a pair of morons.
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaGView Post

An opinion like that is definitely something to lose your posh job over. What a pair of morons.

.........All that free beef too; S.O.B., eh.

So, those two were trying to sack, er, get her in the sack?; and she was blowing proportionately to what?

Sounds like a neat job, and nice spears, too.

no new posts