Queen hails wartime codebreakers
The Queen today hailed Britain’s Second World War codebreakers whose vital work remained unknown for decades.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met veterans and unveiled a monument at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.
During the war Bletchley Park housed the government’s secret Code and Cypher School, which obtained signals intelligence by breaking high-level encrypted enemy communications.
It was also home to the Colossus machine, the first programmable electronic computer.
In her speech the Queen said it was “impossible to overstate” the sense of gratitude to the men and women who worked there.
She said: “They were called to this place in the greatest secrecy, so much so that some of their families will never know the full extent of their contribution, as they set out on a seemingly impossible mission.
“We can be proud of the legacy of Bletchley, proud that Colossus was the first computer and that the British people, supported by our friends and allies, rose to the challenge.”
Before her speech, the Queen had unveiled an 8ft memorial which carries the words We Also Served.
After the war the codebreakers who worked at Bletchley Park were instructed not to reveal any aspect of their mission.
Their decisive role in the Allied war effort, which some historians believe shortened the war by up to two years, was not fully recognised until the 1980s.