We are honoured that Bletchley Park veteran Mary Every will be attending Celebrating Bletchley Park, to be in conversation with Michael Smith and Betty Webb MBE on the Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Every has also agreed to join the party on the Saturday evening.
During her time at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, Mary Every became one of only seven members of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) who learned Japanese. Thereafter, her work at Bletchley Park involved a variety of tasks, including improving some of the out-of-date indexes of callsigns, a job she called “terribly boring.” partly because she was told next to nothing about the significance of her work. But later, her activities involved helping to discover the enemy’s order of battle.
Mrs. Every remembers how her offices in the huts and buildings at Bletchley Park had no windows, with only ventilators for fresh air, and the walls covered with large maps of the sphere of their work. In these isolated circumstances, she was told very little about the importance of her war-time work, which was revealed by other authors only from the 1970s onwards. The separation of Bletchley Park workers from other sections of the war effort was so complete that she needed only to tell her RAF superiors that she was on duty in the huts, and she would be excused all other duties, even RAF parades. Today, she admits that, at these times, she could sometimes “be on a train to London” instead!
Her experience of the consequences of codebreaking has led her to state “There should not be an Internet: there’s no security”.
More about Mary Every
- Part of an interview with Mrs. Every, and with another Bletchley Park veteran speaking at our event, Betty Webb MBE, can be viewed by clicking here. For a much fuller interview, please come to Celebrating Bletchley Park!
- A Daily Telegraph interview about the reunion, in 2014, of Mary Every and Betty Webb; their first since the end of World War II.