Bletchley Park codebreaker to be buried in Hornchurch

Nora Gotts visiting Bletchley Park in 2012. Picture: Rev John Race

Nora Gotts visiting Bletchley Park in 2012. Picture: Rev John Race - Credit: Archant

A Bletchley Park codebreaker whose parents believed she was working as a government typist is being laid to rest today.

Nora Gotts photographed at a similar age to when she worked as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. Pict

Nora Gotts photographed at a similar age to when she worked as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. Picture: Barrie Parsons - Credit: Archant

Nora Gotts is to be buried at Hornchurch Cemetery, in High Street, after she died at a care home aged 93.

Nora, who had dementia, was one of thousands of people to work at the famous site, often credited with shortening the Second World War by about two years.

Now those who knew her have paid tribute to a modest woman with a sharp mind, who, even after the extent of Bletchley’s war role was revealed, kept quiet about her contribution.

Nora lived in Hornchurch all of her life, the daughter of a tanner (leather worker).

Nora Gotts' Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge, which was awarded by the government. Picture: Barrie

Nora Gotts' Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge, which was awarded by the government. Picture: Barrie Parsons - Credit: Archant


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She resided with her parents and sister in High Street.

It is not known how she came to Bletchley Park, in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, but she joined in November 1942.

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In Hut 6, Block D she deciphered messages from the German Army and the Luftwaffe – the Nazis’ air force.

Rev John Race, 63, of Cromer Road, Hornchurch, met Nora at Hornchurch Baptist Church, in North Street, in 1993.

He said: “It was quite hard to get it all out of her, she was very secretive.

“Her family had thought she was working as a typist.

“She said they had eight-hour shifts and were under a lot of pressure, sometimes working through the night.

“She said she felt exhausted at the end of the day.”

Nora was at Bletchley until August 1945 and joined a solicitor’s.

Helen Parsons, who lives in Rayleigh, Essex, also knew Nora, through her own mother.

She said: “She was modest. When we sent for her medal, we suggested it be presented to her and she didn’t want anything like that.

“She was a lovely lady who everyone spoke highly of.

“You couldn’t find anything that wasn’t nice about her.”

The church is holding a thanksgiving service at 3pm today, before the cemetery burial at 4pm.

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