Published on 12/05/22
On Tuesday 26 April, Year 6 pupils from the Junior Schools, Dame Bradbury’s and Fitzwilliam Building, journeyed back in time to 1941 and prepared to be code breakers at Bletchley Park.
The first order of the day was to sign the Official Secrets Act to ensure that secrecy was upheld. After that the real work began. The new recruits had to try to prevent attacks in the Atlantic on Allied ships by interpreting Morse code. One pupil commented: “It was really hard because it went really fast and you really had to listen.” Another exclaimed: “It was difficult because the people who did it years ago had training for six weeks and we had none!”
Then the code breakers had to use a cipher to decode the message. This enabled them to locate enemy wolf packs and ensure safe passage for the Allied convoy.
It was amazing to learn about some of the different jobs at Bletchley Park such as: interpreter, decoder, translator, dispatch riders and to see in action an original Enigma machine.
Our new recruits then spent time familiarising themselves with their new local environment. Near the Manor House our recruits had their identity papers checked and many were found wanting…
The original Manor House looked inviting, but our recruits found themselves working in unheated, drab Huts for eight-hour shifts.
They visited some Huts and saw Alan Turing’s Office. They were amazed that he had chained his cup to the radiator to ensure that no one else could use it! They were able to understand what happened in each Hut whilst remembering that no one would talk about their top secret work.
The new recruits enjoyed some leisure time in the parkland before heading back to their Huts. One new starter commented: ”It was stuffy and warm in the Huts but I’m imagining that it must have been cold in the winter.”
Overall it was a super trip which gave great insight into the life and work of the Code Breakers of Bletchley Park. We are very grateful to them for their work in shortening the war.