As we release this episode, Bletchley Park is currently closed as the UK is in a national lockdown to help contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our staff and volunteers like so many around the world are in lockdown, self-isolation or working remotely from home. Unfortunately, it means the promised second part of our Q&A’s from our listeners is on-hold for now, but once we are safe to do so we will bring you that show.
As we did last year during the first lockdown we will endeavour to continue to bring you new episodes of the podcast. With that in mind, we thought back to two special episodes last year that marked 75th anniversaries –Podcast 108, marking VE Day 75, and Podcast 109, marking VJ Day 75. These episodes included very short clips from dozens of our more than 500 Oral History recordings. Until we can resume our ‘normal service’ it seems the perfect time to shine a light on our Veterans by bringing you the full versions of some of those interviews, in these Oral History Specials.
For the first of these special shows we have selected Sheila Wilson who came to Bletchley Park in 1944 to serve in the Naval Section plotting Allied shipping. A post-war career which included becoming a Psychotherapist has given Sheila a truly deep and at times existential view of her time at GC&CS. This makes her interview, which was recorded in 2015, simply fascinating.
But first, before lockdown, we sat down with Jonathan Byrne to talk about why collecting the Oral Histories of our Veterans is so vitally important.
Image ©Bletchley Park Trust 2021