Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 13:52 UK

Wartime radio operator recognised

Albert Garforth (Pic: MEN Syndication)
Wartime radio operator Albert Garforth said he was no hero

A radio operator from Greater Manchester, who helped unlock German coded messages during World War II, has been recognised for his efforts.

Albert Garforth, 83, of Foxdenton Lane, Middleton Junction, spent the last year of the war helping the code-breakers at Bletchley Park unlock the Enigma code.

Their work meant the Allies gained vital information about German troop movements, securing victory in 1945.

Mr Garforth has received a Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge.

It was accompanied by a letter from Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressing the country's "deepest gratitude" for the vital services he performed.

It adds to an award from the Bletchley Park Trust, which he received three years ago. Both, he said, take pride of place at his home.

Highly secret

Mr Garforth, an amateur radio enthusiast, said: "I was really pleased that my efforts have been recognised by the government, although it took them 65 years. I'm no hero. I just played my part."

He was serving with the Royal Signals when he was posted to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, most famous for breaking codes from the German Enigma machine and immortalised in the film Enigma.

More than 10,000 people worked there and had to sign the Official Secrets Act, with many having no idea what their work was about.

Mr Garforth intercepted radio messages from the German High Command but did not know what they contained.

He said: "It was all in code and we just passed it on to the intelligence corps who passed it on to the code-breakers.

"It was highly secret and we weren't allowed to talk about it until the 40-year secrecy period ended."

After leaving the Army in 1948 he worked on radar sites and guided missile sites installing equipment and worked on the first computers at Ferranti before ending his career as a technician at Manchester University.

Print Sponsor

Grant for WWII code-breaking site
29 Sep 09 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Award for Bletchley Park veterans
02 Oct 09 |  Gloucestershire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific