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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree July 2019 > NEWS


Karen Clare reports on the latest genealogy news. Got a story to share? Email

Duchess treads in her great-grandmother’s footsteps at Bletchley Park

The Duchess of Cambridge meets Bletchley Park veterans

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has visited Bletchley Park, where her great-grandmother and great-aunt both worked during World War II, to celebrate the opening of a special D-Day exhibition in the newly restored Teleprinter Building. The duchess met veterans from the former secret code-breaking site as well as local children from nearby Ackley Wood School in Buckinghamshire, who were taking part in an interactive D-Day learning workshop, marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

The historic Teleprinter Building was where codebreakers received hundreds of thousands of enemy messages, intercepted at secret listening posts across the UK, during World War II. Based on recently declassified materials, the building now hosts the special D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion exhibition, which presents how secret intelligence produced at Bletchley Park was integral to the D-Day invasion on 6 June 1944.

Afterwards Her Royal Highness met with four veterans who worked in the Teleprinter Building and other departments linked to intelligence gathering in the build-up to D-Day: Rena Stewart, who worked in Hut 3, 1944-45; Georgina Rose, a teleprinter operator and Morse Code slip reader in Block E, 1943-45, Elizabeth Diacon, a teleprinter room supervisor, serving Hut 3, Hut 6 and Hut 8, 1944-45, and Audrey Mather, a teleprinter operator who was based in Block E in 1945.

The duchess’s grandmother Valerie Glassborow and her twin sister Mary worked at Bletchley Park during WW2. During her visit The duchess was surprised with the unveiling of two commemorative bricks on the Bletchley Park Codebreakers’ Wall recognising their wartime work there. The Glassborow Twins, as they were known, both worked in Hut 16, monitoring traffic from the secret listening stations across the UK (known as ‘Y’ Stations).

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