The Duke of Kent, as patron of the Bletchley Park Trust, has opened a new exhibition at the World War II top-secret code-breaking site.
Yesterday, Prince Edward, 82, officially opened the restored Hut 11a during his visit. ‘The Bombe Breakthrough’ is a permanent exhibition housed the wartime building, charting the work of mathematician Alan Turing and his code breaking colleagues in building the machine that broke Enigma – the rotor cipher machines used by the Nazis during WW2 to transmit secret messages.
— Bletchley Park (@bletchleypark) March 23, 2018
Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “We are grateful to our Royal Patron, The Duke of Kent, for his presence here today. ‘Hut 11A: The Bombe Breakthrough’ tells a crucial part of the Bletchley Park story and the opening today is the culmination of many years of hard work and research necessary to create an engaging and informative exhibition.”
Huts 11 and 11A are the actual huts that housed the Bombe machines. The exhibition explains in detail the challenges posed by Enigma and explores how Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, and others, devised a machine to help solve it.
Ahead of the Royal opening tomorrow our Head of Collections and Exhibitions Peronel Craddock, talks about the significance of Hut 11A and our new exhibition. https://t.co/DtQdXrR4hF pic.twitter.com/sEaCMVEuM2
— Bletchley Park (@bletchleypark) March 22, 2018
Using the museum’s Oral History archive and historic objects, it also considers how this contribution to the success of Allied signals intelligence had a significant impact on the course of WW2. Winston Churchill reportedly said that the work of the Bletchley Park code breakers shortened the war by at least two years.
Wartime objects on display include original blueprints and components, decrypted Nazi messages and the W.R.N.S visitors’ book signed by key figures in the Bletchley Park story.
Prince Edward also visited charity Milton Keynes Snap who provide work and life skills training for adults with learning and physical difficulties in Milton Keynes and who are celebrating their 25th anniversary.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent has officially opened the restored wartime Hut 11 A @bletchleypark, meeting veterans who built and operated the Bombe machines. The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow https://t.co/kKpqw3jSqr#bletchleypark#Codebreakerspic.twitter.com/l46eglmRWf
— Group Leisure & Travel (@GroupLeisure) March 23, 2018
Almost a year ago, The Earl of Wessex visited Bletchley Park and The Duchess of Cambridge saw where her grandmother used to work at the site as a ‘Foreign Office civilian’ back in 2014.
Feature photo: Neil Thompson and Dave Merrett