Bletchley medal given to Lowestoft woman
WHEN Pansy Waller was chosen to work at Buckinghamshire country house at the height of World War Two, she had no idea why.
But nearly 70 years on, the role played by her and her colleagues is recognised as crucial to Britain's war effort.
That recognition was officially marked this week when Mrs Waller, of Amy Court, Lowestoft, received a medal and certificate signed by Prime Minister David Cameron, as a thank-you for her wartime service at the code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park.
Mrs Waller said she was just 17 years old when she was selected to work at the top secret establishment in 1943.
'I don't know why I was chosen but the people there seemed to know an awful lot about me,' she said. 'I signed the official secrets act and got to work in the big house and at the huts and outbuildings on the site.'
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Although she was not aware of just how important the code-breaking work being done at Bletchley was, Mrs Waller she she knew it was something special.
'We had representatives of all our armed services there along with high ranking American officers,' she said.
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'It was a very exciting place for a Lowestoft teenager to be although we were all careful not to speak to anyone, including family and friends, about our work.'
One of Mrs Waller's duties was to collect the various messages and internal mail and travel with the van from Bletchley to the War Office in London.
'I had gone from being a member of the Girls' Training Corps at Lowestoft straight to Bletchley Park. We all knew our work was top secret and just accepted it,' she said.
Even now, at the age of 83, Mrs Waller is reluctant to go into too much detail about the incidents during her time at Bletchley Park.
'I cannot talk about lots of things but one of the nice events was the visits of senior Government ministers to the park,' she said 'I remember how nice their wives looked with their beautiful large hats.'
Mrs Waller said she was pleased that, 65 years after the end of the Second World War, the work of all those who were at Bletchley Park had been recognised with the special medal and certificate.
'It is nice to see the medal and certificate and all the people who worked at Bletchley Park deserves this,' she said.