The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
This seems an appropriate book for November. Although it is not about WW1, which ended 100 years ago on the 11th November it is about WW2; specifically the work done to break the codes used by the Germans
This wonderful book explains the origins and function of Bletchley Park as recorded in documents and according to the memories of some people who worked there.
The book caused me to reflect upon:-
- The huge number of people who put their lives on hold when summoned so mysteriously and knowing nothing of what they were going to do. I wondered how many people today would act in a similar manner.
- How amazing it was that the work and the place remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. Would this be possible today with mobile phones and social media?
- The huge number who worked there in addition to the "code-breakers" such as drivers, cleaners and cooks etc. At one stage as many as 8000 people were associated with Bletchley Park.
- Would such an enterprise be possible today? It was initially a private compromise pushed through on a shoe string from network connections. A typical British fudge but brilliant.
This read of the month is extremely interesting and thought provoking. If the opportunity arises do go and visit Bletchely Park. It is an amazing place.
Because this is the first "read of the month", I thought it apposite to launch a special offer; a sort of BOGOF(buy one get one free).
Quiet Heroes by Rita Cosby.
It recounts some of my father's experiences during the war. I did not know of this until I read the book. Rita Cosby, is a well known journalist in the States. She was writing about her father's life in Poland and his war-time experiences. My father came into the book because her father and my father met up in a "hospital" and became buddies doing everything together until peace-time.
This is a personal account of a traumatic event; Warsaw uprising.
It raises the question "what is it that makes some people withdraw and others to become intensely involved even when the outcome is likely to be catastrophic". Hence the title.
I hope you enjoy reading in as much as I did.
Buying the books
I would appreciate it if you did not buy them from Amazon; on the grounds of dubious business practices.
The Secret life of Bletchley Park can be purchased directly from
Quiet Heroes is not published in the UK.
Copies from the States are very expensive.
However I have some copies available for sale via my website www.annachelmicka.me at the special price of £5.00 including postage