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David Miliband

(Archived), London

Goose that Laid the Golden Egg

Posted 10 October 2009 by David Miliband  |  1 comments

So said Winston Churchill about the code breakers at Bletchley Park during WW2, some of whom I had the honour and privilege to meet yesterday when I was able to present commemorative awards for their service.  Bletchley is a remarkable testament to British spirit, ingenuity, tenacity - and the veterans of Bletchley deserved recognition well before now.  As I said in my speech this was one of the easiest decisions I have had - who could be against awarding these remarkable people a commemorative award.
 
Bletchley stands in the middle of the country near Milton Keynes and consists of Nissen Huts and a 'mansion'.  By 1943 some 10,000 people were working on the project to break Axis codes, most famously 'enigma'.  The men and (mainly) young women there were drawn from all walks of life.  They worked in cells that prevented anyone from understanding the whole project.  But the effect was serious - some historians estimate it shortened the war by two years.  For all those fighting on the field of battle the back up work made a huge difference.
 
Last month the Prime Minister rectified a long term wrong in the case of Alan Turing, persecuted for his sexuality after his outstanding service for his country during the war.  It was striking at yesterday's ceremony how many of the veterans remarked on the importance of the Turing apology.
 
Bletchley has just got a big lottery grant.  It welcomes some 100,000 visitors a year, and I was privileged to be there.



David Miliband
10 October 2009
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>> Dear David,to me the most important sentence of yr. revealing report is the fact that the work of...<<
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14 October 2009

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