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Bottisham: Dorothy Smith, 104, relives war time work and memories

Bletchley Park was vital to Allied victory in World War Two

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A 104-year-old woman who worked as a coder at Bletchley Park during the Second World War was a special guest visitor to the annual ‘Bottisham at War 2024’ event. Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

“Dorothy was especially keen to meet with other veterans and to see some of the war planes and vehicles that were on display,” said Geanina Tinca, general manager of Hilton Park Care Home.

Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith, 104, to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith, 104, to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

“There were also World War 2 re-enactors present who were all happy to have their picture taken with Dorothy, especially when they realised that, at 104, she was the oldest veteran in attendance.”

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Dorothy’s visit was organised by the Hilton Park activities team who braved the unusually chilly July weather, to make the short journey to where the event was being held.

Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith, 104, to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith, 104, to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

Geanina said: “It was so nice to be able to take Dorothy to the event. She has so many of her own stories from her experiences in World War 2.

“Sadly, there are fewer and fewer veterans around to tell their stories, so for us at Hilton Park to have one of our own is very special”.

Hilton Park Care Home care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers; the home provides residential care, nursing care and dementia care for 90 residents from respite care to long term stays.

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FACT FILE

Bletchley Park was vital to Allied victory in World War Two.

The Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) devised methods to enable the Allied forces to decipher the military codes and ciphers that secured German, Japanese, and other Axis nation’s communications. This

The Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) devised methods to enable the Allied forces to decipher the military codes and ciphers that secured German, Japanese, and other Axis nation’s communications.

Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith, 104, to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

Hilton Park Care Home in Bottisham arranged for Dorothy Smith, 104, to visit the event at Bottisham Airfield Museum.

This produced vital intelligence in support of Allied military operations on land, at sea and in the air. Bletchley Park also heralded the birth of the information age with the industrialisation of the codebreaking processes enabled by machines such as the Turing/Welchman Bombe, and the world’s first electronic computer, Colossus.

At the end of the War the expertise developed at Bletchley Park was taken forward in the organisation known now as the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). This highly efficient intelligence-gathering machine is aided by the special relationship with America, the genesis of which came from collaboration at Bletchley Park.

Today Bletchley Park is a heritage site designed to preserve the uniquely important story of these Codebreakers during WW2.

 

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