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  • Sorry for your loss, UT. It sounds like Mrs. UT Sr. lived a full life.
    If I were dead, could I do this?
  • Thanks Iuv. She was a fine and vibrant woman, particularly in her youth. She had deep auburn hair which earned her the nickname Sunset by her colleagues while in the army, and she had a temperament to match. Feisty and passionate. This is her in her pomp, aged 22. On her tunic is her Intelligence Corps badge, which I still have, and at this point you can see she is a corporal. I still have those stripes and the lanyard she has on. These are the early days of what eventually became MI5 and MI6.

    image
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • Reminds me of my grandmother's Marines photo ❤
    If I were dead, could I do this?
  • Shashi Kapoor of Siddhartha (1972)
    If I were dead, could I do this?
  • Christine Keeler, famous for being at the centre of the Profumo affair in the UK in 1963.
    Small claim to fame. Her biological Father, Colin, left the family in 1949. (Christine's Mother married Edward Huish, who adopted her and bought her up and abused her). Colin was a photographer and worked at Butlins in Clacton on Sea for a time, where I was bought up from age 5. In the first couple of years we lived there, my parents rented out rooms to Butlins in the season to put up staff that could not live at the camp, and Colin was one of those who stayed with us. He took a portrait photo of both my Sister and I, which I still have.
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • Wow what an icon your mother is UT!! I really like her badges and stripes too. I bet you feel very proud.
  • Thank you Serenity. We knew nothing about her time at Bletchley until the mid 70's. The site and its function was top secret during the war and people that worked there had to sign the official secrets act. My Mum said she had to do this at least 4 times during her time there. Where she worked they were looking for repeating groups of 4 letters in a list of groups of 4 letters in an intercepted message. The sequence of letters they were looking for was the 'crib' which was what they thought was the code set for the day on the German, or in her case, Japanese, enciphered messages. Churchill refered to the people working at Bletchley as 'The Golden Geese that never cackled'. In the building where she worked (block F - demolished in the 1970's) they had bags marked 'Top Secret' where all the paperwork they had worked on each day was placed and was taken off and incinerated.
    It was not until the late 70's that Bletchleys secret past became more common knowledge and she just said one day 'Oh, I was there during the war'. My Dad, her parents and Brothers knew she was at a posting in Bletchley, but she never told them what she did and they never asked.
    I have a lot of memorabilia of hers from that time. About 300 letters from my Dad to my Mum throughout the war ( he was in the 8th Army in North Africa and Italy for the duration) and about 150 of these are addressed to her at PO Box 111, Bletchley, which was the cover address for people working there. When they were received at the post office on the camp, some of these were marked by the camp as to where the person in question was situated in the camp for the internal post run. From some of those letters, we know she was originally in hut 4 and then in Block F, right down to the room she was in. Block F is where Collossus, the world's first electronic computative device ( we now simply call them Computers) was developed and situated.
    I still have those badges, the stripes and the lanyard (if you look carefully, wrapped around her right shoulder).
    They estimate that the work done at Bletchley shortened the war by as much as two years, with a potential saving of up to 2 million lives.
    An unsung war hero.
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • Reading all of that message IT is so inspiring. Did yoyr mom feel under immense pressure not being able to reveal the details of her job to you all? I'm sure there was a big part of her that desperately did want to say 'I work undercover'.

    Reminds me of the French resistance- woah beside if anyone got caught working for them.

    In regards to the war, I always took a great interest in British history and how Britain prepared itself to take on the war. Rationing, growing your own food and having allotments, the black market where people managed to buy meat and other hard to get luxury items.

    The Home Front is what I really find fascinating- the land girls and women who worked in the factories.

    Something I wish to share here is that my great grandad was a fire warden and also inspected houses collecting anything metal to take to factories for melting down, and also my great nan worked for the Dunlop factories making bullet proof doors for airplanes and parachutes.

    Everyone who took part in the war effort deserves a knighthood. As a small country we came dangerously close to being defeated.

    Can you imagine what would have happened if Hitler had won? It makes my blood run icy cold.
  • And as many of you probably know, Our Majesty Queen Elizabeth II also took on an active role too. That why I always have the greatest of respects for her as she isnt one of these monarchs who are too posh and priveledged to muck in!!

    To have lived during those times- God only knows how people coped. Can you imag8ne the deafening air raid siren going off.

    I went to Bewdley a few months back to an outdoor museum with a still in tact anderson shelter and they played the siren at a realistic volume as you would have heard during the war. The sound is harrowing.
  • At Bletchley, Mum had a best friend called Jose Nightingale, who was a couple of years her senior (so a heady 22). Only difference between them was Jose was married. Last year, Bletchley came up with the idea of rebuilding one of the blast walls that surrounded the huts to protect them from flying debris if the camp was bombed ( which it wasn't as it was secret). To raise money, they come up with the idea of people sponsoring a brick and having their name put on it. If you, or the person named on the brick were a veteran, the put 'V' under the name in morse code. We decided to reunite Barbara and Jose on the wall.

    image
    Post edited by Urban_Tribesman at 2017-12-08 18:20:57
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • And here is Barbara and Jose, sitting on a wall at Bletchley Park.
    Reunited forever. The Universe is a funny place.

    image
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • Ah I thought Jose was a man from when i first read your message. So what nationality is Jose? It is an unusual name.

    A bit like Joss Stone. Although she is American.
  • Thats a very touching picture though, and the wall memorial is very much on point. x
  • Joss Stone, real name Jocelyn Eve Stoker, is English Serenity.
    Jose, sometimes written José, was short for Josephine. Her maiden name was Drake, and she came from Norwich. Her Husband was Ron Nightingale. He was the manager of the Norwich Woolworths but during the war, entered the army on a commission and was a Capt in the RASC ( same Reg. as my Dad).
    She was a bit flighty and was seeing someone else while Ron was away. After the war, she got divorced and remarried and Mum lost touch.
    Here's another photo. This one is called ATS Off Duty! and has been published in a book entitled Bletchley Park People. For the first year she was there, Mum was billeted with two local families (of which I have the addresses from those letters mentioned earlier) but in early 1944, Shenley Road camp was opened right next door to Bletchly Park and this had about 50 or 60 huts and in each, approx. 16 or so we're billeted. Mum was in hut C10. This picture is taken behind the hut (which you can see in the background) and shows some of hut C10's inhabitants (all ATS) one day when they were Off Duty! Mum is in the middle at the back wearing the tie.
    I've done a lot of research on this time as you can see. As well as the letters, I have about 20 photographs.

    image
    Post edited by Urban_Tribesman at 2017-12-09 17:42:12
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

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