Wiltshire Publications

U3A learn about the Yeoman of the Guard

THE monthly general meeting of the local University of the Third Age (U3A) was held on Tuesday 8th September where they were joined by the regional trustee for the southwest region of the U3A, Diana Holds-worth of Torbay U3A.

The group reports, “She is a much travelled lady as her area of responsibility stretches from Gloucester to The Channel and Scilly Isles. It was good to see her and reinforced our connections to the wider U3A within the UK & elsewhere.

“An excellent talk followed given by Shaun McCormack a member of the Yeoman Warders of the Queens Guard. He started off by telling the history; founded by Henry V11 in 1485 they have guarded every king or queen of England and Wales (and Scotland after the Union) since their formation, a total of 22 monarchs.

“Nowadays duties are ceremonial, the guard being seen on state occasions such as state banquets and before the opening of parliament a ceremonial search is made of the cellars where Guy Fawkes was found.

“More sombrely the guard were present at the lying-in-state of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. On a somewhat lighter note, Shaun did tell of an incident when a potential streaker was at a Royal Garden Party, The offender was quickly covered and removed by members of the guard.

“Shaun also explained the qualifications required to become a yeoman of the guard and showed a framed copy of the oath of allegiance that he swore on his appointment.

“One of the highlights of his talk was his uniform which he showed us. The Tudor bonnet, neck ruff, shoe buckles, red stockings and tunic were passed round; the tunic was magnificently embroidered and very heavy. The guard also wears a ceremonial sword whilst on duty and needless to say Shaun did not bring his sword with him.

“Our next meeting, is on October 13th when Ann Servier will tell us about “A year in the life of a New Forest pony.” As usual this will be held in the United Reformed Church Hall and newcomers are always welcome.”