Folkestone woman, 92, who was one of Britain’s last codebreakers in war against the Nazis has died
A secret codebreaker from Folkestone who helped shorten the Second World War has died aged 92.
Audrey Wind was one of the country’s last remaining codebreakers who helped crack the Nazi Enigma code and intercepted Hitler’s messages.
She led an undercover life living at the famous Bletchley Park, and was part of a team that intercepted Hitler’s communication codes detailing his attacks and military operations – which were then sent to Sir Winston Churchill
Living in a Victorian mansion in Buckinghamshire, the codebreakers’ mission was so secret that they were forbidden from discussing their work with their husbands, wives, or parents.
Miss Wind was one of the last remaining wartime codebreakers who were recognised for their achievements by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown – with their intelligence credited for shortening the war
Her nephew and last living relative Colin Stokes will be conducting her funeral on Wednesday (August 23) and remembers her as being “talented and adorable, but could be very difficult”.
Miss Wind passed away on Friday, August 4 after suffering from an earlier fall.
Official Secrets Act
He said: “She read every single word in the newspaper, and had to correct every single error. She had a mindset that made her a good codebreaker.
“She could be maddening – things had to be absolutely precise.”
After joining the Woman’s Royal Naval Service as an 18-year-old in 1944, Miss Wind was sent to Scotland for two weeks training before being told she was going to take part in a top secret mission.
Out of 200 recruits, Miss Wind and five others had failed the training programme – but were soon told they were the chosen ones and told to sign the Official Secrets Act.
‘She never uttered a word of it’
Nephew Mr Stokes adds: “They were obviously looking for a particular type of intellect – she was always addicted to cryptic crosswords.
“At the end of the war, all of her contemporaries came back with medals, stories to tell and promotions.
“She had no medals, no stories to tell and no promotions – that must have been really hard.”
He added: “She never uttered a word of it, and said it was a dull clerical job. But it was a crucial job. Winston Churchill said they reduced the war by several years because of their information.
“She used to appear home sometimes in a uniform – no-one in the family knew what she did or where she worked.”
The story was eventually leaked into the public domain, and after the war Miss Wind went onto become the Harvey Grammar School secretary – a role she held from 1946 to 1984.
Miss Wind is today honoured on an oval plaque at the school alongside three other codebreakers.
She is remembered for her efficiency, and according to her nephew was replaced by a team of five when she retired.
After the war she also gave talks about her time at Bletchley Park, where she donated her fees to Pilgrims Hospice – raising £6,000 throughout her lifetime.
Her funeral will be held at Hawkinge Crematorium on Wednesday (August 23), with donations going to Pilgrims Hospice.
Read more at http://www.kentlive.news/one-of-britain-8217-s-last-codebreakers-who-helped-win-the-war-against-the-nazis-has-died-aged-92/story-30487475-detail/story.html#l3DgwOMuSQB32PPA.99