Royal praise for Daphne's Bletchley service

A Warwick code breaker who helped win the war from Bletchley Park has been thanked at a royal celebration.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2016, 5:12 pm
96 year old Daphne Hinton has just got back from a Tall Ships, sailing adventure. NNL-141015-000237009

Veteran Daphne Hinton was invited to Buckingham Palace in honour and celebration of her efforts during the Second World War.

The 98-year-old attended with the Blind Veterans UK - an organisation she has been involved with since becoming partially sighted in her 80s.

Mrs Hinton, who lives in Warwick’s Garden Court, described it as a wonderful day, and said despite being humbled by the attention, her work was simply a part of her life.

“It was a lovely sunny day and I met a lot of people,” she said. “The Duke of York’s daughters greeted the public. There were not just war veterans, there were people of all ages and from all different groups.

“I have never had so much attention or thanks. I suppose people are interested and it is very nice. It was just what you did at the time.”

Speaking about her war work, the former accountant said she began important code breaking work at Bletchley in the early 1940s - going on to carry out highly secretive work to infiltrate enemy attacks.

But she said it all began after she listed her love for crossword puzzles while being interviewed by the navy.

“I was called for my interview and they offered me a position with something called P5,” she said.

“I asked what P5 was and they said they could not tell me. I laughed and asked how I was supposed to know if I would be any good.

“It was all because I had an interest in crossword puzzles, but of course the work was nothing like that really.”

The young woman went on to help decipher signals from across the world, and enjoy a successful career.

Mrs Hinton, who retired aged 82, has since lived in Leamington and Warwick, and has one daughter, Sarah.

She became partially sighted around 15 years ago but said it has never stopped her doing what she loves.

But she said it was very humbling to be invited to the garden party and remember her work so many years ago.

Run by The Not Forgotten Association, the day was set up to honour people’s contributions and commitment to their country.

A spokeswoman said: “We invite groups such as the Blind Veterans and ask them to nominate people they think would be suitable of being remembered and honoured.

“Daphne Hinton was one of many people invited by way of recognition for her service during the war.

“We were delighted that she could attend.”