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All Posts, Military History, P&S History

Author Guest Post: Jan Slimming

Merry Christmas : Here’s my Reindeer message!

Top Ten Things

I first heard of Bletchley Park when I was about five years old. My mother had said, “I worked at Bletchley Park during the war.”

After finding out that war was a terrible thing I didn’t ask further questions, but carried on playing with my dolls, with my twin sister.

However, a trip was planned there about a year later, for Mum, Dad, Jill and I….

The story of that particular visit is told in my debut publication, CODEBREAKER GIRLS : A Secret Life at Bletchley Park.

The next time I found myself at Bletchley Park was several decades later.

My mother would never talk about her work during the war, but if she happened to let something slip it was just a snippet, so when I did finally re-visit BP there was a substantial amount to learn.


  1. Out of the 8,000 people I’d heard worked at Bletchley Park, nearly 75% were women, as of May 1945
  2. The number of people associated with BP at outstations and connected units currently stands at 13,665 (Bletchley Park’s Roll of Honour)
  3. More than 462 people were from America, including the US Army
  4. From 1941 key American Intelligence personnel visited BP during the war to exchange information.
  5. Children lived at Bletchley Park
  6. There was a maze in the grounds!
  7. Colossus was the world’s first electronic computer.
  8. After night shifts people slept in the same bed from shift to shift, without changing the sheets!
  9. Thousands of messages came into BP daily, during the war, from Listeners at outstations around the country, at sea and from across the world.
  10. The offices of GCHQ were first located at Bletchley Park.

Food for thought….

You can preorder a copy of Codebreaker Girls here.

You can connect with Jan Slimming on Facebook.