Based on a diary and oral accounts, this is the story of Flora Crossley who served in the Wrens during World War II. She was based at Bletchley Park working on the German Enigma before being posted overseas where she spent two and a half years as part of the team decoding Japanese military and naval signals.
Flora Crossley had never travelled far from her home town in Halifax until 1942 when, at the age of 26, she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She was posted to Bletchley Park where she operated the Bombe, an electro-mechanical machine designed by Alan Turing for use in the deciphering of the German Enigma.
Eight months later she was on a troopship sailing down through the Atlantic and around the coast of Africa to Kenya where she spent four months before being transferred to Ceylon. While overseas her role was to operate the Hollerith, a mechanical tabulating machine used in the decoding of wireless signals transmitted by the Japanese.
A Bletchley Park Wren Overseas is based on her diary and oral accounts of her time at Bletchley Park and its outstations in Mombasa and Colombo: not only the work that she did but also the social life – the sailing parties down the African coast – and the places she visited – the leave she spent up county on the tea estates in Ceylon. She celebrated VE day abroad and returned home by sea in July 1945.
Rosemary Brierley’s background is in the NHS and as an associate lecturer with the Open University. Since her retirement she has been awarded an MA in Writing (with Distinction) from Nottingham Trent University and has been editor of the charity magazine Tidings. She has had articles and short fiction published in journals and magazines. A Bletchley Park Wren Overseas is her first book inspired by the diary her aunt kept during World War II.