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Alexander, (Conel) Hugh O'Donel (1909–1974), chess player and cryptanalyst, was born in Cork on 19 April 1909, the eldest of four children of Conel William Long Alexander (1879–1920), professor of engineering at University College, Cork, and his wife, Hilda Barbara Bennett (1881–1964), of ...

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Barry, Sir (Philip) Stuart Milner- (1906–1995), code-breaker and chess player, was born on 20 September 1906 in Hendon, London, the second youngest of six children (five sons and one daughter) of Edward Leopold Milner-Barry, a schoolteacher (later professor of modern languages at the ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by Philip Carter

Blencowe, William (1683–1712), cryptographer, was born on 6 January 1683, the third son of Sir John Blencowe (1642–1726), a judge and baron of the exchequer, and his wife, Anne, the eldest daughter of the mathematician and cryptographer John Wallis. He matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford...

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Bonsall, Sir Arthur Wilfred [Bill] (1917–2014), intelligence officer and civil servant, was born on 25 June 1917 at 1 Clairville Road, Middlesbrough, the elder son of Wilfred Cook Bonsall (1888–1963), a private in the Machine Gun Corps and later company secretary at ...

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Cooper, Joshua Edward Synge (1901–1981), cryptanalyst and intelligence officer, was born on 3 April 1901 in Fulham, the son of Richard Edward Synge Cooper, a chartered engineer, and his wife, Mary Eleanor, youngest daughter of William Burke. Joshua was the eldest of five children, four sons and a daughter, all brought up in ...

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Denniston, Alexander Guthrie [Alastair] (1881–1961), cryptanalyst and intelligence officer, was born on 1 December 1881 at Greenock, the eldest child of James Denniston, a medical practitioner, and his wife, Agnes Guthrie. He was educated at Bowdon College, Cheshire, and at the universities of ...

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Alexander Guthrie Denniston (1881–1961) by Lafayette, 1933 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ewing, Sir (James) Alfred (1855–1935), engineer and cryptographer, was born on 27 March 1855 at 109 Nethergate, Dundee, the youngest of the three sons of James Ewing (1810–1886), minister of St Andrew's Free Church, Dundee, and his wife, Marjory, eldest daughter of John Ferguson...

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Sir (James) Alfred Ewing (1855–1935) by Bassano, 1915 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Foss, Hugh Rose (1902–1971), cryptanalyst, was born on 13 May 1902 in Kobe, Japan, one of five children of Hugh James Foss (1848–1932), Anglican bishop of Osaka, and his wife, Janet Ovans (b. 1870). He was educated at Hoylake, at Marlborough College...

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Grey, Nigel Arthur de (1886–1951), cryptanalyst, was born on 27 March 1886 at the rectory, Copdock, Suffolk, the son of the Hon. Arnold de Grey (b. 1856), rector of Copdock, and his wife, Margaret Maria Ponsonby Fane. His father was the son of the ...

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Hilton, Peter John (1923–2010), code breaker and mathematician, was born at 34 Castletown Road, West Kensington, London, on 7 April 1923, the son of Mortimer Jacob Hilton (1893/4–1959), a physician and surgeon who practised in Peckham, south London, and his wife, Elizabeth Amelia, ...

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Hinsley, Sir (Francis) Harry (1918–1998), cryptanalyst and historian, was born on 26 November 1918 at 28 Rowland Street, Walsall, the son of Thomas Henry Hinsley, ironworks waggoner, and his wife, Emma, née Adey. He went to the local elementary school and then to ...

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Knox, (Alfred) Dillwyn (1884–1943), classical scholar and cryptographer, was born on 23 July 1884 in Oxford, the fourth of six children (four sons and two daughters) of the Revd Edmund Arbuthnott Knox (1847–1937), a tutor at Merton College (later bishop of Manchester), and his first wife, ...

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Marks, Leopold Samuel [Leo] (1920–2001), cryptographer, playwright, and screenwriter, was born at 71 Antrim Mansions, Hampstead, London, on 24 September 1920, the only child of Benjamin Marks, antiquarian bookseller, and his wife, Rachel Dorothy, née Joseph. He was a bright child—at the age of eight, he claimed, he had solved his father's and his uncle's book-pricing codes—and was noted at ...

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McVittie, George Cunliffe (1904–1988), astronomer and cryptanalyst, was born on 5 June 1904 in Smyrna, Turkey, the eldest of three children (two sons and a daughter) of Francis Skinner McVittie (1872–1950), businessman, and his wife, Emily Caroline (1877–1942), daughter of George Weber from ...

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Phelippes, Thomas (c. 1556–1625x7), cryptographer and intelligence gatherer, was the first son of William Philipps (d. 1590), a cloth merchant and customs officer for wool in the port of London, and his wife, Joan (d. 1613), daughter of Thomas Houghton. Little is known of ...

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Sams, Eric Sydney Charles (1926–2004), musicologist and literary scholar, was born at 3 Cedars Avenue, Walthamstow, Essex, on 3 May 1926, the only child of Henry Sydney Sams (1897–1968), a petty officer in the Royal Navy, and later a clerical officer in the ...

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Strachey, Oliver (1874–1960), cryptanalyst, was born on 3 November 1874 at Stowey House, Clapham Common, London, the third son among the thirteen children of Sir Richard Strachey (1817–1908), public works secretary, India, and former lieutenant-general in the Royal Engineers, and his wife, Jane Maria Strachey, ...

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John Hessell Tiltman (1894–1982) by unknown photographer private collection