Book of Bletchley Park Obituaries

The Second World War Codebreakers

The Daily Telegraph

Date Published :
August 2021
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Series :
The Telegraph Book of Obituaries
Illustration :
16 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526795021
Pages : 232
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The accomplishments of the codebreakers of British Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park have become justly famous and individuals such as Alan Turin and Gordon Welchman have become household names. The operation at Bletchley Park, including the renowned Hut 6, was a huge and complex affair and a total of almost 10,000 people were involved during the course of the Second World War.

As well as intercepting and deciphering the German military signals, the men and women in the eight blocks and twenty-three wooden huts dealt with Italian, Japanese and even, periodically, Soviet messages. Many of those who worked in the strictest secrecy, and whose activities remained classified for decades after the war, were obliged to keep the true nature of their employment hidden even from close family members. Gradually, the role played by the Government Code and Cypher School became known to the world, with Bletchley Park itself becoming a much-visited museum.

A large proportion of the workers at Bletchley Park were women, recruited from the Wrens, the WAAF and the ATS as well as the Civil Service and by 1945 75 per cent of the staff at Bletchley Park were women with those in civilian dress working alongside those in uniform. A small group of American service personnel were also brought over to Bletchley Park and integrated into a number of the existing sections.

In this unique collection of obituaries from The Telegraph are individuals such as Dr Charles Wynn-Williams who, before the war, built the first electronic digital counter and during his years at Bletchley Park built the ‘Heath Robinson’ codebreaking machine often regarded as the immediate precursor of the electronic computer. There is also Wren Margaret Cooper who had no idea what she had volunteered for, only being told that it was ‘very, very secret’, and then found herself working in Hut 11 on the decoding machines known as ‘Bombes’. She remembered broken windows, no heating, round-the-clock working, and exhaustion.

Such men and women from all levels and from a wide range of skills and backgrounds are represented here is this fascinating compilation of obituaries.

About The Author

This is a unique collection of obituaries from the archives of The Telegraph.

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