Enigma in Douglas

A DOUGLAS pensioner who worked for the secret British code-breaking service during the Second World War has finally been honoured. Gladys Gowing was among thousands of unsung heroines based at outstations which fed vital information to the home of British decryption at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. Bletchley Park was the centre for code-breaking and its work on breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code proved to be a decisive breakthrough in the war.

She has received a specially-minted medal and certificate, signed by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, issued to recognise their contribution to the war effort.

Mrs Gowing, of Groves Road, Saddle Mews, kept her assignment a secret – even from family and friends – for decades after the war. Now in her 80s, she told Isle of Man Newspapers she was ‘very proud’ to receive the award. She added: ‘It was a very exciting time and I made lots of friends. We still hold an annual reunion at Bletchley Park. ‘But we were sworn to absolute secrecy about our work.

‘Winston Churchill called us the geese that laid golden eggs but never cackled.’