Trudy’s Baywatch broke war codes!

Code breaker Trudy
Code breaker Trudy

A Bo’ness lady has been recognised – after almost 70 years – for her contribution to codebreaking during the Second World War.

A Bo’ness lady has been recognised – after almost 70 years – for her contribution to codebreaking during the Second World War.

Trudy Roy, who worked in Signals Intelligence, received the Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge in recognition of her efforts to break secret codes to defeat the enemy.

Her job was to note morse code messages and ciphers she received down the wires from around the world and pass them on to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park.

The English country retreat was home to the Government Code and Cypher School, a secret team of individuals and scholars, turned codebreakers, who broke Nazi codes and ciphers.

Trudy, now 88, was brought up in Leith, Edinburgh and joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) on her 18th birthday in 1943.

She wanted to be a driver but, at five foot two, was too short and instead was posted to Signals Training School in Strathpeffer and Edinburgh before being sent south to Salisbury (South Command) in January 1944.

From there, she was posted to Signals Intelligence and a code listening site based at Forest Moor.

Trudy said: “It was like another planet there with guard dogs roaming the perimeter fence.

‘‘My job was to take down five letter block morse code and cipher messages from the wires. We all had to sign the official Secrets Act and no-one was allowed to talk about their work.

“There were teams of women similar to me taking down the messages who worked eight hour shifts.

“My shift was called ‘baywatch’. We were brought in and out of Forest Moor in giant troop carriers every day.

“Sometimes they would break down in the middle of nowhere after we had finished a night shift. To say we were not too happy was an understatment.”

After the war in Europe ended, Trudy thought she could return to Scotland but she was not demobbed until December 1946.

Eventually, she was relocated at Craigiehall (Scottish Command) where she worked as a typist.

Soon after she met husband-to-be Jim, who served with the RAF.

Jim later worked at BP in Grangemouth and they moved into their home at Edinburgh Road, Bo’ness, with their children Linda and Jim.

Trudy worked as a secretary in various primary schools in Bo’ness between 1962 and 1990, when she eventually retired.

Now aged 88, she remains very active, enjoying regular sessions of sequence dancing at Polmont and Rosyth.

Trudy recently received her special badge and certificate, signed by PM David Cameron, after the Government made an appeal for surviving veterans to come forward.

Trudy said: ‘‘I was an only child and joining up was a real culture shock but one I would never regret.”