Meet the female codebreakers of Bletchley Park

Deciphering enemy code during the second world war was arguably the first role for women in tech.

What saddens all of the women is that their families died without ever knowing what they achieved during the war. “Both sets of my family – my family and my husband’s – died without knowing, which makes me feel sad,” says Joslin. “I could never tell my mother anything.”

Given the nature of their work, which involved cracking foreign military codes, this top-secret process was a typical way those selected to work at Bletchley Park, a mansion in Buckinghamshire, were enlisted. All were bound by oath to never speak about their roles.

It wasn’t until the mid-1970s, when wartime information became declassified, that people were allowed to talk about their time there.


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