Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

One of ‘last surviving’ World War Two codebreakers dies aged 99

Margaret Betts, one of the last surviving female codebreakers who served during World War II, has died aged 99.

Ms Betts worked at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire for about two years, from the summer of 1943 to 1945.

Thanks to her good grades, she was headhunted in 1942 aged only 19 by “men from the ministry”, her son Jonathan Betts said.

She is believed to have agreed to become a codebreaker as she had recently lost her brother, whose ship was sunk by a German U-boat.

Her son said: “It was absolutely tragic, he had just married a few weeks before, the whole family was in terrible shock and desperate to do something.

“She was just told it would be highly secret work and that eventually she would be told what it was, but meanwhile she was to pack her bags and go to a clearing house.”

The codebreaker died on August 26 at a nursing home in Minehead, Somerset, having lived most of her life in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Ms Betts “kept her sharp brain right until the end”, her son said.

READ MORE: ‘Churchill said to me, I told you we’d meet again some time’

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