Celebrating our codebreakers

?Crown. Reproduced by kind permission, Director, GCHQ PNL-151230-133913001

?Crown. Reproduced by kind permission, Director, GCHQ PNL-151230-133913001

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Pride burns brightly in relatives of the men and women whose secret work at Bletchley Park and its outstations helped shorten the Second World War.

Their names and the importance of what they did was once shrouded in secrecy, but can now be celebrated.

Now, for the first time, the trust is reaching out to its veterans’ families to join a global community, celebrating their connection to this remarkable piece of history.

The Bletchley Park Trust is in touch with more than 1,500 veterans of the clandestine codebreaking organisation, the Government Code and Cypher School – although many more are no longer with us.

Michael De Grey’s grandfather, father, aunt and uncle all worked at Bletchley Park during the SecondWorld War.

His grandfather, Nigel De Grey, started out as a codebreaker during the First World War. He decoded the Zimmerman telegram, which was important in drawing America into the Great War.

Michael said: “My grandfather is reputed to have said at a meeting in the office a few days later: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the toast is America because now we are going to win the war.’

“My grandfather did something lifesaving for our country. What would have happened if they hadn’t decoded that telegram?”

For the next few months veterans, their families and members of the Friends of Bletchley Park have the exclusive opportunity to buy engraved commemorative bricks that will be used to build a Codebreakers’ Wall around naval codebreaking Hut 8. The chance to buy a brick in the Codebreakers’ Wall will then be made widely available this spring.

If you are related to someone who worked at Bletchley Park or one of its outstations, email friends@bletchleypark.org.uk to join the community.

The Bletchley Park Trust will send out bespoke e-newsletters twice a year to those who sign up in this way.