Legacy helps restore important war space
A VITAL part of the nation's wartime history has been restored – thanks to a legacy left by a Cheltenham woman.
Maureen Jones, who lived in Pittville and died last year left £250,000 in her will to the Bletchley Park Trust.
Her generosity has enabled the charity to reconstruct Hut 11 – the prefab hut that housed the Bombe machines which first cracked the Enigma code of World War Two.
Miss Jones, who never married, joined the Government Code, a Cipher School at Bletchley Park, when she was 18 as temporary clerical staff. She moved to Cheltenham when the organisation became GCHQ in 1952.
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By the time of her retirement she had progressed to the position of senior principal, a rare achievement for women at the time, and she was awarded the OBE in 1985 for her outstanding work during the Falklands conflict.
When Miss Jones, who was born in 1925, died last year, she left £250,000 to Bletchley.
Her solicitor and one of her trustees, Simon Greener of Cheltenham law firm Davis Greener, said: "I am certain that she would be delighted that her legacy will help future generations to understand a central part of the wartime intelligence work at Bletchley Park."
The Wrens who worked the machines named Hut 11 'the Hellhole', owing to the heat and the noise generated by the machines. Now there is an interactive display where visitors can try turning the drums to the right settings and putting the plugs in the back in the right sequence.
Claire Glazebrook, development director at the Bletchley Park Trust, said "Legacies like Maureen's allow the Bletchley Park Trust not only to preserve these unique, historic buildings but also to bring them back to life for generations of visitors."