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Kate Middleton re-traces grandmother`s World War past

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 21:43

London: Prince William`s wife, Kate Middleton, took a trip down memory lane with a visit to a code-breaking facility in Britain where her grandmother worked during World War II.

The 32-year old Duchess of Cambridge retraced Valerie Glassborow`s footsteps on a visit to her former offices at Bletchley Park to mark the end of an 8 million pounds restoration project.

Kate also met Lady Marion Body, a former colleague of her paternal grandmother, who managed the interception of enemy signals for decryption at Bletchley.

According to official documents dating back 70 years, Glassborow worked as a duty officer with her twin sister Mary.

She is known to have been formally employed by the "Government Code and Cypher School" at Bletchley and worked in Hut 16, now restored as Hut 6 and open to the public.

The success of the centre`s code-breakers in cracking the German cypher systems Enigma and Lorenz are credited with shortening the war by two years.

Lady Body recalled the moment when she and her colleagues were told that the war in Europe had ended.

She said, "On 15th August 1945 Valerie, Mary and I and two other girls were on the day shift, which was rather fortunate.

Mr Williams came in, he was smiling, he said ?Well done girls, a signal`s been intercepted going from Tokyo to Geneva; the Japanese are about to surrender. It was a great moment, one that I`ve remembered all my life".

Before leaving, the Duchess was invited to plant a tree to commemorate the visit and the completed restoration.

Sir John Scarlett, chairman of the Bletchley Park Trust, said, "The work at Bletchley Park made an immense contribution to the victory of Great Britain and our Allies in World War II".

"It was a great honour to welcome the Duchess of Cambridge and to show her where her grandmother worked, especially now that Hut 6, along with other fragile buildings, has been restored to create a permanent and fitting tribute to the thousands of men and women whose work helped to shorten the war," he added.

First Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 21:43
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