Bletchley Park veteran remembers top secret assignment

Dulcie Klusmann who is now 92 years old and lives in Bozeman in Montana has told her story of working for the British intelligence services during World War Two.

Dulcie worked at the central intelligence office at Bletchley Park during the war as a code breaker.

At the end of the war, Dulcie married her husband, Bill, who was a Sergeant in the US Air Force. Even now at 92, Dulcie is bright as a button and still has her traditional English accent and sense of humour.

Dulcie was just a teenager when she joined Bletchley Park as many civilian women did so that they could help the war effort. Bletchley was the centre of code breaking where hundreds of people worked to crack the codes used by the Germans throughout the war.

Dulcie says she was only 19 at the time and her work did scare her, since she had to lie about what she was doing to people outside of Bletchley Park due to its top security.

British war time Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, believed in the work Bletchley was doing and made it a top priority for the war effort. Extra resources were dedicated to the code breakers, resulting in the eventual cracking of the German Enigma code.

Churchill believed that without Bletchley they wouldn’t have had access to the intelligence that matter and the Allies may not have won the war.

Dulcie says that Churchill attended Bletchley one day and gave a speech in front of the main house. In front of the thousands of women working there, he said that Bletchley ‘laid the golden egg’.

Dulcie’s father was an engineer working at the Great Western Railroad and during the war many of his trains were targeted and bombed as the Germans attacked British transport systems. Her parents lived in Wembley in North West London and when she returned to visit them she was shocked to see that their backyard was gone – it had been bombed leaving just a huge crater where once the family’s vegetable patch had been.

Dulcie had achieved excellent scores in her maths and logic tests at school and this is the reason she believes she was chosen to work at Bletchley. She was a technical advisor and was deployed to work in Hut 14, Block E, for three years from 1942 onwards, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

The work was so top secret she didn’t even know what was being undertaken in other rooms or huts around the park. Sometimes she says she did get a glimpse of large machinery and many Wrens helped to work them.

Dulcie used an alphabet code to figure out German messages then sent them on to the relevant military department: either the Army, Navy, or Air Force.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE