Codebreaker dies at 93

Raymond ‘Jerry’ Roberts, one of the last of the Second World War codebreaking team at Bletchley Park, which included Newmarket-born Bill Tutte, has died, aged 93, following a short illness.

With Tutte, Captain Roberts, was part of the Testery group that cracked the German High Command’s Tunny code at 
the British codebreaking centre.

Throughout his life he argued that the group’s work should be officially honoured and was delighted to support Newmarket’s Bill Tutte Memorial Working Group and its plan for a commemorative sculpture on Rutland Hill called The Codebreaker, work on which is set to start in June. He had agreed to unveil the finished work.

“Tutte’s break-through provided the tools for the cryptographers in the Testery, to break around 90 per cent of Tunny traffic, a total estimated at 64,000 of the highest level messages, including from Hitler himself,” said Roberts.

Group chairman, Journal content editor Alison Hayes said: “We were all saddened to hear of Jerry’s death. He was one of our greatest supporters and we had been looking forward to welcoming him to Newmarket in September. He was a very modest man who was part of an amazing group that ensured we have the freedom we enjoy today.”