E130 – Action This Day

Oct 21, 05:42 AM

October 2021 

On the 21st of October 1941, four of Bletchley Park’s Codebreakers sent a plea for more staff and resources in a now notorious letter to the Prime Minister. Demand for Bletchley Park’s work was increasing, and the organisation was facing a crisis. 

Churchill was won over, adding the note ‘Action This Day’ to the document. But perhaps the changes that followed weren’t just the result of the Prime Minister’s influence.

In this ‘It Happened Here’ episode, Dr Thomas Cheetham explores the problems the Codebreakers were facing and how this letter was only part of the wider story.

Thanks as always for voicing our archival documents to Dr Ben Thompson, and to Geoffrey Welchman who recreates the letter co-authored by his grandfather.

Featuring the following contributors from our Oral History Archive:

Sir Arthur Bonsall
Elizabeth Marshall
Mimi Gallilee
Arnold Hargreaves
Gwendoline Herbert
Barbara Hart
Judith Wainer

Image: ©Bletchley Park Trust 2021

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