E128 - Whitehall 7947 - The Early Days Exhibition

Aug 31, 02:13 AM
August 2021 

Hindsight and the lifting of decades of secrecy, allows us to know that by 1945 Bletchley Park had become a ‘codebreaking factory’ supplying war winning intelligence to the Allies ultimate victory. 

But what was it like for the 185 members of staff on Monday the 4th of September 1939? And … who were they?

Supported by the UK government’s Culture Recovery Fund, our new exhibition ‘Early Days’ covers the events of 1938 to late 1939 and tells the story of the first Bletchley Park Codebreakers.

Exhibitions Manager Erica Munro guides us through the 5 scenes of the exhibition, the challenges of turning the start of the codebreaking story into a physical gallery and many of the highlights visitors will see. All of this, within one of the first rooms to be used by the Codebreakers in autumn 1939. 

As his first major project when start at the museum, Research Officer Dr Thomas Cheetham, explains the painstaking work that has gone into the least documented period of Bletchley Park. This has led to being able to list every one of those 185 members of staff turning up for work on the second day of World War Two.

Special thanks go to Dr Ben Thompson for voicing our archival documents.

Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust 2021

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