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Unsung Bletchley Park Hero Whose Role in D-Day was Equal to Turing’s


 Boats full of US troops waiting to leave Weymouth, Southern England, to take part in the D-Day landings.

Eric Jones was the man responsible for interpreting and prioritizing all the covert intelligence that came into Britain from Nazi-occupied Europe and from spies working near the front lines.

Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

No contemporary war reports from the German front mention the name of Eric Jones. And there is not much information about him online – in fact, there is more about a Welsh climber of the same name. But the Eric Jones who worked in secret at Bletchley Park in the 1940s is soon to be declared a figure of equal importance to Alan Turing.

Recently declassified documents show that Jones, the son of a Macclesfield textile manufacturer, was the man responsible for interpreting and prioritizing all the covert intelligence that came into Britain from Nazi-occupied Europe and from spies working near the frontline.

They also show that his decision to force Britain's rival military forces to work together may well have won the war and it certainly laid the groundwork for success on D-day. And what is more, Jones later went on to become the first head of the government's listening station at Cheltenham, GCHQ.

According to David Kenyon, research historian at Bletchley Park, Jones can now at last be unmasked as "the spider in the centre of the information web".

"It has become apparent from my research that Jones's skill at putting together all the information coming in was crucial," Kenyon told the Observer this weekend, ahead of the opening this week of a D-day exhibition at Bletchley Park. The exhibition will highlight for the first time a man known to his admiring circle of secret operatives as the "king of calm."

"We can also now show that Bletchley was not working in monastic isolation, concentrating only on numbers and breaking codes," said Kenyon. "It had to feed the right information out to politicians and to commanders in the field."

 

From The Guardian
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