War heroine celebrates her 100th birthday

22nd September 2017 | By | Reply More

A woman who contributed to solving the Enigma code has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Ann Bayley who served as a Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) Officer in WW2 spent her special day with her daughters, Tina and Nick sister, Helen great-grandchild, friends and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for East Sussex, Peter Field.

Ann, who lives at Maycroft Manor in Brighton, was born on September 3rd 1917 in Coonoor, India which was where her late father’s trading company at the time was based. She spent most of her childhood living there and Sri Lanka until she joined the war effort in 1939 and was sent Bletchley Park’s outstation in Cairo, Egypt.

There she was co-opted into top secret project Ultra, with the purpose of solving the Enigma code which later helped British forces to decipher German signal traffic and win WW2. 

In 1943, she met her late Australian husband Bill in the Naval Offices in Cairo. They married within the year in front of the iconic Egyptian pyramids.

Ann, who has two daughters, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another on the way, received a card from the Queen congratulating her on her milestone and a visit from the Lord-Lieutenant for East Sussex, Peter Field.

A special toast with locally-made wine was also made at her party from her grandchild William Scrase-Dickins who co-owns Coolhurst Vineyards in Sussex.

Ann said: “I don’t feel 100, I feel about 60 and it feels very strange to be 100 years old.

“I don’t have a secret to longevity, but my family say I eat a lot of chocolate!

“I had a wonderful day and it was very special to have all of my family with me to share the celebrations.”

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