#reunion

70th anniversary Enigma reunion at Bletchley Park in 2009 #Bpark

8 years ago today was the 70th anniversary Enigma reunion at Bletchley Park.
The the wonderful Maggie Philbin and many other awesome people Christian Payne, Kate Arkless Gray, Benjamin Ellis, Hannah Nicklin, Matt Rawlinson and Steve Lawson, came up to Bletchley Park with me to interview as many veterans as possible to capture their memories of their time working on cracking the codes during WW2.
Here with Maggie is the phenomenal codebreaker Captain Jerry Roberts RIP, wonderful man and great family friend.
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We had an absolutely wonderful day with the hundreds of veterans that came along spending the whole day capturing as much as possible for posterity.
I had started a campaign to save Bletchley Park the previous year in July 2008 and met quite a few veterans, but this was the first time that I really got to meet hundreds of veterans and hear at first hand so many of their amazing stories.
Here are some photos from the day taken by Benjamin Ellis and Steve Lawson. There are many more, check out all the #bpark70 pics from the day on Flickr.
Here are a few of the interviews conducted that day in 2009.

I chatted to Hannah, giving an overview the day and speaking about the amazing discussions we had all had with the veterans.

Christian Payne interviewed many veterans on the day. Here are just some of his interviews. Enjoy 🙂

Interview by Christian with Bletchley Park veteran Margaret Warner of the WAAF:

Christian interviews Bletchley Park veteran Kathleen Saunders

Christian interviews Bletchley Park veteran Captain Jerry Roberts

Christian interviews Bletchley Park radio security intercept officer Alan Gordon Jackson

For more stories about Bletchley Park and the campaign we ran to save it check out my book Saving Bletchley Park.

US Amazon link here: Saving Bletchley Park 

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Finding my ancestors via DNA testing

I’ve been interested in my family tree for as long as I can remember. I grew up with a small family and always longed for more relatives, some cousins to play with. 

When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter 12 years ago I started looking into my family tree, and got stuck on one great grandfather Sydney Ambury. I couldn’t find where he was born. 

Fast forward a few years to 2011. I found an article linking Sydney Ambury to Solomon Hamburg, son of Benjamin and Flora Hamburg. Benjamin and Flora had come to London from Amsterdam in the 1800s, lived in Spitalfields, got married in the Great Synagogue in London and had 10 children. I found out that I’m one eighth Jewish. I’d had absolutely no idea about that, and I have probably hundreds of Jewish cousins 😃  

Here’s the blogpost I wrote about meeting up with the first of many of my Jewish cousins Jon and Phil Marx. Jon has put together a massive chart detailing all of our relatives going back for generations He also organised a wonderful reunion at Sandy’s Row synagogue in Spitalfields where 3 of our ancestors were married. 

Today I thanks to my friend Kristie Wells I received a DNA testing kit from Ancestry.com.  

I spat in the plastic tube added the stabilising fluid, sealed and packaged it up ready to send for analysis.   

I’m very excited to find out what the results are. Just 2 weeks and I’ll find out where my ancestors lived 500 to 1200 years ago and get connected to lots of 1st to 5th cousins. I’m so excited! Watch this space for the results…