Until about 2003, the BBC collected stories of wartime experiences from individuals in all walks of life, for its “The People’s War” project. Below, please find links to some of the recollections that mention Bletchley Park. These are fascinating snapshots of what ordinary people, at many levels of the organisation, lived through.

One particularly clear aspect of nearly all these stories is the devotion to secrecy that Bletchley Park inspired. Many wartime staff report signing papers regarding the Official Secrets Act both before beginning, and after ending, their wartime work. For many of these people, their commitment to silence never ended.

These links are expanding. Please check back!

Marjorie Jelinek
Marjorie describes operating (possibly) a Heath Robinson; and being bombed
Diana Neale nee Spence
An image of some of the huts where the Enigma messages were read
Diana Neale
A Bristolian at Bletchley Park. Includes a comic song!
Frances Joyce Woodward
Spotting German words within transcripts. And getting very hungry
Dorothy Hodgson (nee Edson)
A very accurate typist’s story
Jeanne Isaacs
This teleprinter operator remembers D-Day, and her drama productions
Bob Biggs—a codebreaker
This is a codebreaker’s story, including a post-script about the consequences of honouring the Bletchley Park pledge of silence.
Ann Sturge
WREN Ann Sturge was a Bombe operator.
Jean Sealey
A member of the Army, Jean describes the drama productions she became involved with at Bletchley Park.
Susan Hannaway
A radio intercept listener’s story
Irene Joan Russell (nee Humby)
The story of a Bombe operator, who lived in Woburn Abbey.
Deryn Bourne
A cold journey to Bletchley Park
Denis Whealan
How the Bombes were maintained.
Joy Higgins
Recruitment, secrecy, and the long-term implications of silence.
Jean Sealey nee Darby
A very full education at Bletchley Park, by a teleprinter signals reader
Caroline Shearer
A teleprinter and Morse code operator, with many recollections
A linguist’s child and the secret
The child of a Bletchley Park linguist shows how the secrecy of a father’s wartime effort could not be broken
A teleprinter operator
Very briefly describes the run-up to D-Day
A decryption operator
How messages were decrypted once the day’s settings had been discovered
This list is being extended almost daily.