The British government's top secret Code & Cypher School at Bletchley Park, otherwise known as Station X, was the unlikely setting for one of the most vital undercover operations of the Second World War.
It was at Bletchley in present-day Milton Keynes that teams of code breakers succeeded in cracking Germany's supposedly unbreakable Enigma codes, thereby shortening the war by at least two years. Marion Hill has used the transcripts of some 200 interviews and memoirs from among the thousands of people who worked at Station X to give a remarkable insight into the daily lives of the civilian and service personnel who contributed to the breaking of the Enigma and other Axis codes.
She explores their recruitment and training, their first impressions on arrival at Bletchley Park ('BP'), their working conditions, (including the in-house food and entertainment), and their time off in billets and beyond.
These BP workers, from boffins to debs to ex-bank clerks and engineers, were united in the need to 'keep mum' - even with their family and close friends. However, the stressful burden on secrecy created divisions within the organisation, and illnesses; and many felt disappointed at the lack of acknowledgement for a vital job about which they were forbidden to speak until many years later. A selection of archive photographs and illustrations accompanies the text, drawn from the Bletchley Park Trust Archive and from the personal albums of those stationed at Bletchley.