Codes and Ciphers
in the
Second World War

The history, science and engineering of cryptanalysis in World War II


Date of Birth: 30/01/31 Nationality: British Status: Married, three children

Education: 1944-1949 Dulwich College, London

School Certificate in: English, Maths, Advanced Maths, Physics, History (distinction), French, German, Geography

Higher School Certificate in: Maths, Advanced Maths, Physics and French

1960 London University External Honours Maths Completed course but didn't take finals due to pressure of work

1949-1952 The Royal Air Force. Commissioned and reached Flying Officer, instructor at RAF Officers Radar School
1952-1957 Research Assistant at Marconi's Research Laboratories, Great Baddow research on stabilised power supplies and Q Band Doppler Radar with Peter Wright.
1957-1963 Scientific officer rising to Principle Scientific Officer at MI5 with Peter Wright.
1963-1968 Head of feasibility studies on weapon systems at Hunting Engineering Ltd, in charge of six staff.
1968-1979 Started and ran Alpha Systems Ltd a computer software company which employed 25 people and had a turnover of 200,000. Went into liquidation in 1980.
1980-1984 Started and ran a new company, Angusglow Ltd to bring to market the COBOL compiler bought from the liquidator of Alpha Systems. Successfully sold on the Alpha Micro Computer in the USA.
1984-1989 A new company Qufaro Software Ltd., formed to build a meta language driven system builder system, METASYS, for the IBM PC. Insufficient funds to bring it to market.
1986-1989 After some consultancy work for the British Computer Society as co-ordinator to the Presidents Study Group on the future of the Society, chaired by Sir John Fairclough of IBM, joined the staff as Technical Co-ordinator to implement some of the recommendations. Reporting direct to the Chief Executive and answerable to the elected Vice President(Technical).
1989-1993 Senior Curator grade, Manager, Computer Restoration Project at the National Museum of Science & Industry, the Science Museum, London. Working with Doron Swade the Curator of Computing and to the Head of Collections Management Division (Assistant Director).
Restored a Ferranti Pegasus valve computer, an Elliott 803 transistorised computer and a DEC PDP 8 all to full working order.
Started the Computer Conservation Society in November 1989, as a joint venture between the British Computer Society and the Science Museum. Organised a series of seminars on early computers and started Resurrection the bulletin of the CCS.
1991- With a small group of colleagues, started the campaign to save Bletchley Park for the nation. Secretary and Museums Adviser to the Bletchley Park Trust formed in 1992. Appointed Museums Director ( unpaid ) in 1994.
1993 Started the Colossus Rebuild Project to rebuild the Colossus computer developed at Dollis Hill in 1943 for Bletchley Park. Funded by myself and separate from the Bletchley Park Trust.
1993-1996 status unemployed.
1996- 2011 status retired and busy

Soon after becoming interested in computers, joined the British Computer Society, (BCS), in 1965 as Associate Member, being elected to Member in 1967, Fellow in 1988 and Hon. Fellow in 1996.
Elected to the Council of the BCS for the period 1967-70
In 1965 was a founder member of the Bedfordshire Branch of the BCS and was chairman in 1979.
A founder member of the COBOL Specialist Group of the BCS in 1972 and chairman from 1982 to 1985

Standards work: 1978-1985
A member of the British Standards Institute Working Group on real time languages RTL2 and Coral. Involved with some of the early work on Ada. Also a member of WG3 on COBOL. Proposed a meta language standard based on work on a machine readable form of the COBOL metalanguage.

"A compiler-compiler for COBOL on micros" presented at BCS 81 conference.
"Restoration of historic computers", joint paper with Prof William Elliott given at the 1990 Australian Engineers History of Technology conference.
"The Colossus of Bletchley Park" in IEE Review March 1995

"Colossus 1943-1996" , M & M Baldwin, Kidderminster, 1998

A series of lectures to the Advanced Programming Group of the BCS including one on the design philosophy of METASYS. Lectures to the Computer Conservation Society on the Williams Tube storage system and visible record computers.
The Royal Institution Lecture, February 1996 " The Colossus of Bletchley Park"
IEE Lecture on Colossus 1996
Lectures on Bletchley Park and wartime code breaking averaging one a month for the last ten years.

Films and Video:
TV. Numerous interviews on TV world-wide on Colossus and wartime code breaking. Adviser and link man on Channel 4 "Station-X" program. Adviser on "Secrets of War" series.
Films: Adviser to "Breaking the Code" Technical Consultant to Mick Jagger's film "Enigma"

Comdex IT Personality of the Year, 1998 for computer restoration and rebuilding Colossus
The Royal Society of Scotland, Silver Medal, 2000 for rebuilding Colossus

2006 Honorary Doctorate, Lincoln University

2008 Honorary Doctor of Computer Science, Middlesex University

Web Site: Set up my own web site with some help from Andrew Hodges.

Fencing started at Dulwich, Captain 1948. Fenced for Technical Division in the RAF. Reached the semi finals of the UK Epee championships in 1960. Fenced for Bedfordshire, Captain, Bedford Fencing Club.
Motor racing, hill climbs. A number of trophies in saloons and my pre- war MG.
Motor cars: My first car, a 1937 MG sports car bought in 1952 reluctantly sold in 2006. Rebuilt and tuned engines including white metalling of bearings.

Engineering: Competent engineer in metal wood and electronics. Built my own lath. Designed built and patented a novel multi-satalite aerial system.

Hobby: Making things both real and virtual.

This page was originally created by the late Tony Sale
the original curator of the Bletchley Park Museum