A CODEBREAKER who spent the Second World War translating German messages at Bletchley Park was honoured by an MP.

Witney MP Robert Courts recently visited Mary Turton, 95, at Richmond Witney Retirement Village to present her with the Bletchley Park commemorative badge.

The honour, which is issued by GCHQ, is given to those who contributed to the war effort by serving in the famous codebreaking centre.

Mr Courts said: “I was truly honoured to meet Bletchley Park veteran Mary Turton in Witney recently and to present her with her commemorative badge.

“Blazingly intelligent young people like Mary were, in Churchill’s words, ‘the geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled.’

Mrs Turton, 95, said she was ‘totally surprised’ and that she had ‘no idea’ she was set to receive the honour.

Upon receiving the award she spoke to residents about the many other units who served in the war which are yet to be recognised.

James Ruddock-Broyd, a resident of Richmond Witney retirement village, arranged for the award to be given to Mrs Turton, who lives in Ducklington Lane, after she delivered a talk to residents there.

He said: “She was absolutely surprised. All we said was come and have Christmas tea with us as a thank you for your talk.”

Prior to Mr Courts giving Mrs Turton her badge, there was a short presentation detailing her life and experiences.

This included the fact that she was in Germany at the time of the signing of the Munich Agreement.

Signed by Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy, the agreement is today largely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Germany.

Mrs Turton joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service of the Army in October 1943.

She had a degree in German and French from Oxford University.

This skill led to her being stationed at Bletchley Park, where she translated and scanned decoded German messages.

Bletchley Park, in Milton Keynes, housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers.

Historians believe the efforts of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park may have shortened the war by two to four years.