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Podcast 98 - GCHQ at 100

Mon, 11 Nov 2019
A special podcast to mark 100 years of GCHQ

November 2019

During WW1 the United Kingdom had two separate cryptographic organisations, the Navy’s Room 40 & the Army’s MI(1b). Both had major codebreaking success during the conflict but it was decided that after the war that they should merge.

On the 1 November 1919 the Government Code & Cypher School or GC&CS was created. Best known for its work during WW2 at Bletchley Park, after the war its name was changed to one more familiar to us today GCHQ (Govermment Communications Headquarters).

To mark their centenary, a special event was held on 1 November 2019 with past and present members of staff and representatives of the other Five Eyes Intelligence Services from around the world.

We’ll hear from GCHQ’s current director Jeremy Fleming as well as memories from the staff that were specially recorded for the event.

We catch up with Bletchley Park Veteran Betty Webb who shares her pride at being part of the organisation and talks about the changing role of women in defence with her guest Retired Colonel Ali Brown.

Finally we mark the retirement of a very good friend of the podcast, GCHQ’s Official Historian Tony Comer. The centenary event was a chance to say goodbye to Tony and meet his replacement, whose identity we can exclusively reveal in this podcast.

Podcast 98 - GCHQ at 100