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Heroes of Telemark-the Bedfordshire Connection
Whilst unsure of how advanced Nazi nuclear weapon’s development was, the Allies realised how important it was that they be stopped at all cost.
The story is well documented and was made into a feature film in 1965 starring Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris and Michael Redgrave, but what many will not realise is the number of hidden threads that connect this, one of the most spectacular acts of sabotage of World War II, with Bedfordshire
Einar Skinnarland was an engineer who had worked on the construction of the Norsk Hydro plant; during the war he joined the Norwegian resistance operating as an agent for the British within his occupied homeland.
Skinnarland had been sending coded messages to British Intelligence via the listening station at Chicksands Priory; Bedfordshire’s Y station. The messages were being relayed for decoding to Bletchley Park also known as Station X. It may have been through lack of training that there was difficulty in interpreting Skinnarland’s messages but as "indecipherables" they were sent on to Leo Marks the master cryptographer, who provided the key to unlock the valuable message within.
Marks’ talents were first discovered in January 1942 in Bedford at the The English School of Cryptography, when he was called up to train as a cryptographer. The school was known locally as the ‘Spy School’. Marks was the only one of his intake not to be recruited to Bletchley Park; instead, having in an evening cracked a code intended as a group exercise to be spread across a week, he was labeled a misfit and dispatched to Baker Street, the headquarters of the Special Operations Executive. More
Spy Capital of Britain
Who described Bedfordshire as “the spy capital of Britain”?
Discover John Bunyan's Bedford
John Bunyan is perhaps Bedford's most famous son. The 17th century tinker- turned preacher and author of, one of the most well known books of all time, ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’.
Home of Afternoon Tea
Did you know that Anna Maria Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford created Afternoon Tea?