The Last Voices of World War II: Betty Webb, British Intelligence

Charlotte ‘Betty’ Webb volunteered to the Auxiliary Territorial Force, the women's branch of the British Army, in 1941. A German speaker, and determined to 'do more for the war effort than bake sausage rolls,' she was stationed at Bletchley Park – the home of the codebreaking arm of British Intelligence that de-encrypted the messages of the German ‘Enigma’ machines. The work, aided by Bletchley mathematician Alan Turing, was said to have significantly shortened the war. Following the conflict in Europe, she was posted to Washington, D.C. Under the Official Secrets Act, Webb was forbidden to speak of details of her wartime work until 1975 – when it was revealed the messages she had handled at Bletchley included the first intelligence relating to the Holocaust. Now 97, she contributed to National Geographic's special June 2020 edition The Last Voices of World War Two.