Iris, 92, honoured for wartime code-cracking heroics

Peter Vinthagen Simpson
Peter Vinthagen Simpson - [email protected]
Iris, 92, honoured for wartime code-cracking heroics

Iris Kramer, a Brit living in Sweden, has been honoured by the British government in recognition of services for her efforts cracking enemy codes during World War II.


Kramer, 92, now living in Järna just south of Stockholm, is among the 9,000 former workers at the top secret Bletchley Park station in Buckinghamshire to receive a newly constituted award.

She was formally presented with the Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge by Commander Benedict Falk, Defence Attaché at the British Embassy, on October 28th in the company of a small group of well-wishers.

"Yes, it was on Wednesday, we had a quiet get-together," Iris Kramer told The Local on Friday morning.

The work that was carried out at Bletchley Park was conducted under great secrecy and, according to Tony Matthews at the Association of British and Commonwealth Servicemen & Women in Sweden (ABCSWS), Iris Kramer took this very seriously.

"She didn't even tell her husband," he told The Local on Friday.

The existence of the award first came to the attention of Matthews from a report in the British media and he helped to ensure that long-term ABCSWS member Iris Kramer was among those to be recognised for their contribution to the war effort.

"I filled in the form and sent it in to Bletchley Park. They sent back the certificate of the award directly to Iris, which was great."

"It is important that these stories do not die with the bearer," Matthews said.

Kramer (née Joint) was deployed at the station from 1941-45 and worked in a clerical capacity.

She worked in communications in the celebrated Block E, which was where the decrypted and translated messages intercepted from the German armed forces were transmitted to British commanders.

The Germans were never able to break the TypeX machines that were used to re-encipher the messages, a task that Iris Kramer carried out with pride.

"They say our work shortened the war by a couple of years," she told The Local.

After the war, the then British prime minister Winston Churchill referred to the Bletchley staff as "my geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled."


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