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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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Edward Bancroft (1744–1821) by Nathan Branwhite, pubd 1801 (after Samuel Medley, 1800) [Institutors of the Medical Society of London; standing, far left] ? Copyright The British Museum

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Bancroft, Edward (1744–1821), chemist and spy, was born at Westfield, Massachusetts, on 9 January 1744. His tutor was Silas Deane, later a member of the American congress. After a brief apprenticeship to a physician in Connecticut, Bancroft went to sea at the age of eighteen. In 1763 he was in ...

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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

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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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Hutton, Christopher William Clayton (1893–1965), intelligence officer and inventor, was born at 102 Willow Road, Birmingham, on 16 November 1893, the son of Christopher Hutton, brass manufacturer, and his wife, Edith Eliza, née Clayton. He had a sister. His uncle and godfather William Clayton...

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Jones, Reginald Victor (1911–1997), physicist and intelligence scientist, was born in Herne Hill, London, on 29 September 1911, the son of Harold Victor Jones (1880–1953), a sergeant of the Grenadier Guards, and his wife, Alice Margaret, née May (1890–1979).

Jones was educated at ...

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(Charles Henry) Maxwell Knight (1900–1968) by Howard Coster, 1934 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Knight, (Charles Henry) Maxwell (1900–1968), intelligence officer and naturalist, was born on 9 July 1900 at 199 Selhurst Road, South Norwood, Croydon, one of at least two sons of Hugh Coleraine Knight (d. 1914), a solicitor, and his wife, Ada Phyllis Roberts, ...

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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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Murray [née Clarke], Joan Elisabeth Lowther (1917–1996), cryptanalyst and numismatist, was born at 45 Idmiston Road, West Norwood, London, on 24 June 1917, the youngest child (there were three sons, and another daughter) of William Kemp Lowther Clarke, a Church of England...

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Myers, Edmund Charles Wolf (1906–1997), intelligence officer and engineer, was born on 12 October 1906 at 17 Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, London, the elder son among the five children of Dr Charles Samuel Myers (1873–1946), consultant psychologist to the British expeditionary force during the First World War and reader in experimental psychology at 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, ...