Tributes paid to a leading Bletchley Park codebreaker

editorial image

A Bletchley Park codebreaker whose work with the Enigma machine was crucial in the success of D-Day, has died at the age of 92.

Tributes have been paid to Mavis Batey who was a leading female figure at the home of the codebreakers and helped crack Enigma ciphers that aided the Navy’s success in 1941.

Bletchley Park historian and trustee, Michael Smith, wrote an obituary to Mavis which featured in The Daily Telegraph.

In it he describes how Mavis played ‘a leading role’ in cracking the codes sent by the Abwehr – German secret service.

Without doing so the Double Cross deception plan, which made the D-Day landings a success, would never have taken place.

During the Second World War Mavis was studying German at University College London and called short her studying to become a nurse to help the war effort.

However, she was told she would be of more use to the country as a German linguist.

Soon she moved her way to London where she checked commercial codes and checked The Times for coded spy messages.

She showed so much promise that she was sent to Bletchley to work with Dilly Knox on breaking the Enigma ciphers.

She worked with Knox and the team in a cottage next to the mansion on codes that had not been broken by those working in Hut 6.

It was during her time at Bletchley Park that she met her husband Keith after working with him on a ‘particularly difficult’ code breaking problem.

Mavis is said to be the last of the Bletchley ‘break-in’ experts, a team of codebreakers who found their way into new ciphers that had never been broken before.