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Bletchley Park

Volume 712: debated on Thursday 9 July 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am delighted to announce that the Government are to honour the vital contribution made by the military and civilian members of the Government Code and Cypher School who served at Bletchley Park and its outstations during the Second World War. A commemorative badge will be awarded to all surviving veterans in recognition of their great success in intercepting and decrypting enciphered messages. Enigma is the most widely recognised example of this work, but Bletchley Park and its outstations had many more successes against different cipher machines and manual ciphers. The thousands of people who worked at Bletchley Park and its outstations played a vital part in the war effort, and kept their work secret until the Government avowed its success. The awarding of a commemorative badge is a fitting recognition of their loyal service.

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) will be handling applications for badges. The GCHQ website (www.gchq.gov.uk) contains the necessary details, which will also be available on request from GCHQ and at Bletchley Park and other museums. The commemorative badge will be launched at Bletchley Park on 16 July and a celebratory event will be held later this year.